Inmates at a prison in Indonesia have found their own ticket to Brazil in the form of a soccer ball.

LEAD IN: Inmates at a prison in Indonesia have found their own ticket to Brazil in the form of a football. They're helping produce the hundreds of thousands of souvenir balls set to line the streets of Rio, Sao Paulo and Manaus. It's part of a program designed to teach prisoners life skills before they're released. STORY LINE It may be far from the green pitches of Brazil, but here at Cirebon Prison in Indonesia, inmates are taking part in their own way. While the country was unable to make it through their qualifying group to the finals, they've found their own ticket to the World Cup in the form of footballs. FIFA-certified company Singaraja Santika Sport (Triple S) are producing one million balls as souvenirs for the upcoming tournament. Some of them were manually made by prisoners from two West Java prisons. These 40 inmates in Cirebon Prison were taught and trained to make high-quality footballs. On average, they now produce around 150 - 200 balls a fortnight. One inmate busy at work is 47-year-old Deddy Rossany, he's serving a 17-year sentence for murder. He started to learn how to stitch soccer balls four years ago. Now, he can make a pack of eleven a week. Rossany has so far served 5 years of his sentence and plans to continue working in the ball business once he's released. Knowing the balls will be shipped to Brazil has also given him a certain sense of pride. "In this penitentiary, we are taught and trained to have skills," he says. "I chose to learn how to make soccer balls. Now I am able to stitch soccer balls perfectly. I heard that the balls made by me were sent to Brazil for the World Cup." Cirebon Prison signed an agreement with Triple S in 2005 meaning they could train their prisoners how to make the footballs. The company provides the materials and trainers, while the prison chooses inmates they consider to be talented enough to create such high-quality balls. Activities in this prison workshop include cutting the leather and manually stitching pieces of it together. Afterwards they're sent to a factory to be finished. The prisoners work for 6 hours every day from Monday to Saturday. Each of them receive $1 USD for every high-quality ball they produce. Triple S have been producing sports balls since 1994. They're the only company in Indonesia with a FIFA certification. Every ball they produce must pass the football governing body's strict requirements which include circumference, sphericity, rebound, absorption, weight, loss of pressure, shape and size retention. On average they produce 100,000 balls a month. While exports are the priority, the company also makes balls for the local market. General Manager of Triple S, Jefri Romdoni, says their work with the prison is one of the company's contributions to community development. He believes that by empowering the convicts it will help reduce the negative stigma attached to them once they're released. He says it also helps the economy. "Our mission is to create job opportunities and eradicate poverty," says Romdoni. "We have also formed collaborations with other penitentiaries, not only with Cirebon Prison." Indonesian law stipulates that correctional institutions must provide coaching and work training programs for their prisoners in order to prepare them for life on the outside. Generally, all sentenced prisoners under 65-years-old are expected to work unless medically unfit to do so. Correctional departments have established links with various third parties to create prison industries which provide training and work opportunities for prisoners. The range of industries vary from prison to prison, but common examples include metal fabrication, manufacture of timber products, agriculture and horticulture programs. You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/youtube/ec6d0a11f630ae5847250d8486d01b25 Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork

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