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ABSTRACT: Less than 18% of current convicts in Italy participate in job rotation (about one month a year) employed by the Prison Administration. Only 1% are employed by cooperative societies or external companies with a regular paid job (with national collective sector contracts). In this 1% relapse into crime is much lower. What features must work possess to reduce recidivism? Work must have a meaning. From the story of several cases key-words emerge that are not referred to strictly occupational categories, but to "affective" categories, such as esteem - good - human context - care of oneself- meaning - value. The expression "high and low" is also used as if the acceptance of a cyclic yield and a never final result could be principles to live with and which work organization must constantly address. Therefore the solution does not consist only in giving work to fragile individuals such as a prison inmates or the disabled, but the real problem is: what kind of work do we want to give them?. Or better, what do we want to give them through work? For the human being, because of human nature itself work has an intrinsic value, via which self-fulfilment and meaning are sought. Self-fulfilment via work, the discovery of one's own capabilities, inclinations and attitudes, allows the human being to know his own possibilities and limits. Work becomes one with the person who, through what he/she person does, can take care of his/herself and of his/her true nature. And it is not the kind of work that makes the difference: in the "noblest" work as in the most humble t is possible to work with diligence, ingenuity and competence. It is possible to achieve a sense of oneself dedicate oneself to the job and discover the positive effects of this attitude to work.
La Medicina del lavoro 01/2010; 101 Suppl 2:86-93. · 0.38 Impact Factor