“A juvenile prison officer”

identity and perceptions of the socio-educational agent about the institution, adolescents and their occupation

  • Reni Aparecida Barsaglini Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso. Instituto de Saúde Coletiva
  • Camila Brito Vaillant Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso. Instituto de Saúde Coletiva
Keywords: Socio-Educational Agent, Professional Identity, Institution of Deprivation of Liberty


Socio-educational agents are professionals who work in institutions that house adolescents fulfilling socio-educational measures of detention. Assuming that the meanings and practices of the agent are influenced by and influence the social life constitution of the adolescents and institution, this text analyzes the perceptions of these professionals regarding their identity articulated to the perceptions about the detention institution and the adolescents. We have used phenomenology to understand the fluidity of action, combined with the sociology of everyday life, that considers macro and micro-sociological planes in the social analysis. The data came from a seven-month field work in a male detention unit in Mato Grosso, Brazil, and from11 agents interviewed with a semi-structured questionnaire, adopting thematic analysis. The results are on the attractiveness of the profession (stability, salary, friendship, learning); on the institution and the profession (contradictions between discourse and practice, equating it to prison) and on adolescents (continuance of the historical view of a poor, abandoned, endangered or harmful and dangerous minor). The constitution of identity is relational, separated from the context, and agents experience the repercussions of contradictions and precariousness. In the porosity and permeability of interactions, individuals, professionals, groups and institutions – indissociated –, people and things forge and are forged.


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How to Cite
Barsaglini, R. A., & Vaillant, C. (2019). “A juvenile prison officer”. Saúde E Sociedade, 27(4), 1147-1163. https://doi.org/10.1590/s0104-12902018180080