This entrepreneur helps people who got out of jail in their social reintegration

Daniel Serrano refused to create his own civil association for all that it implied in terms of taxes, paperwork "and so on." However, as a result of having the idea of some projects stolen from him in 2010, the following year he decided to found his own organization and thus Insade was born.
This entrepreneur helps people who got out of jail in their social reintegration
Image credit: Cortesía de Insade

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This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.
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Try, take a reality bath, devise, create and finally found. A 19-year-old Daniel Serrano became interested in the idea of some “cuates” (friends) who wanted to develop a civil association to help the Yucatecan LGBT population.

"I fell in love with the project, I got involved with them and during a year that I was in it I realized that my problems were nothing compared to all the violence and discrimination that existed in Yucatán and, obviously, throughout the country," he says. Daniel Serrano de Regil, founder of Insade in an interview with Entrepreneur in Spanish .

After this experience, Serrano began to connect with the world of activism, from feminism to work related to HIV, sexual and reproductive rights. The young man ended up specializing in the latter, through a participation in Catholics for the Right to Decide.

"Here my labor activism grew a lot, in one of those I got to know the world of entrepreneurship through Ashoka Mexico and Central America and from there I began to have my approaches to the issue of social entrepreneurship," he says.

Daniel Serrano refused to create his own civil association for all that it implied in terms of taxes, paperwork "and others." However, as a result of having the idea of some projects stolen from him in 2010, the following year he decided to found his own organization and in this way Interculturalidad, Salud y Derechos AC , better known as Insade, was born .

Insade is responsible for generating strategies for social reintegration and economic autonomy of populations in the context of violence, crime or confinement through participatory methodologies in the hands of key allies.

"What we are looking for is to show that second chances are possible and that undertaking freely is possible," says Serrano.

How does this Association work?

Insade has "an intervention model created from the populations themselves" known as "Made in Freedom", it is dedicated to generating these options for social reintegration and economic autonomy in populations that decide not to commit crimes again.

“This is very important: no one is forced into the model, no one is necessarily channeled by a judge. It is a model that starts from cooperation and volunteering or the will of people who say: “I stop the crime here. I already want to start over ”, explains the entrepreneur.

This program has four phases:

Skills for life , where they use sport as a reintegration approach to work on values such as teamwork, equity, frustration in the face of failure, among others. In addition, they address the issue of drug addiction and foster restorative justice circles, the latter where it teaches people how to file a criminal record discrimination complaint.

The “ Labor Training ” phase, in which beneficiaries are taught to develop products that allow them to be self-employed.

“We help those who want to be self-employed to make artisan products, through screen printing, painting of trees of life, making creams and soaps with natural ingredients. Those who decide to be employed are focused on being apprentices in screen printing and sublimated, and apprentices in cooking ”.

The third phase is about "Entrepreneurial Skills and Access to the Ecosystem" , it has to do with self-employment, it helps the beneficiaries to land a business model, present a pitch, learn the Canvas business model and link them with credits accessible.

“In the case of those who are going to be employed, we link them with small businesses so that they can carry out professional internships, so to speak. Right now, due to COVID, it has not been possible to resume that ”.

Follow-up phase , this last stage is described by Serrano as “the most important”, it is the moment where they follow up on each person to know how the reintegration process is going, it occurs in a period between 6 and 12 years.

"Between 6 and 12 years we follow up on each one of them to see how their reintegration is, to see if they have not had obstacles, if they were not discriminated against, if they had any problems with any procedure."

What they want to achieve with this methodology is to provide skills, mentoring and links so that people who leave jail or jail can "undertake in freedom."

Alliances with micro-enterprises

The association that Serrano directs seeks alliances with small businesses, such as cafeterias, restaurants and other types of enterprises that are interested in providing jobs to vulnerable groups.

"A great ally of ours is this social company called Pixza, which employs young people in vulnerable contexts and is an example of a company that is helping us in this regard," he says.

Success stories

Last year the CA documented between 100 and 150 people with three profiles of social entrepreneurs:

  • Women who came out of prison who already have their micro-businesses and are beginning to employ other women who are coming out of prison.
  • Speakers , former beneficiaries who are going to share testimonies with other young people to motivate them not to commit a crime again.
  • Teachers, those beneficiaries who now teach other people who got out of jail.

"So the model is not only reintegrating people who decide not to commit a crime again, but it is also generating agents of change and social entrepreneurs," says Serrano.

Remove stigmata

The difficult thing for the association has been convincing donors that the people they are helping will not be criminals for life, also removing the stigma that if they are taught combat sports they will develop violent behavior.

“The challenge is that, that they see them as agents of change and that they stop seeing them as these people who will commit crimes all their lives. Indeed, there are people in jail who look you in the eye and tell you, "I'm going to do it when I'm going out." And this is very his idea, very his roll and what a pity, but it is worth investing in those who look at you in the face and say, "I no longer want to return here," he explains.

With the issue of the pandemic, the members of Insade were afraid that there would be recurrences in the beneficiaries. However, despite the fact that some had problems in their jobs, none of them relapsed into crime.

"It was incredible to know from their own voices that they said," Not even here did the reoffending happen to me. " And we asked them why, and most of them agreed, "I don't want to go back to that hell, which meant being in jail for me."

Insade has already helped just over 5,500 people, of which 20% are women and 80% are men. Likewise, within the profiles of vulnerable groups that most reach the model are older adults, indigenous population and the LGBT community.

“Today we have a presence in five cities with our structure. Nuevo León, Tlaxcala, Mexico City, the State of Mexico and Yucatán, but we are beginning to expand our model through the figure of local partners, allies or allies who have already done something in the area of crime prevention, social reintegration and who want to incorporate something of the model. We are already with local partners in Coahuila and Chiapas ”, Serrano concludes.

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