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Justice Lewandowski signs an agreement to incentive the application of alternative provisional remedies


Thursday, April 9th, 2015

The Chief Justice of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF) and presidente of the National Council of Justice (CNJ), Ricardo Lewandowski, the minister of Justice, José Eduardo Cardozo, and the president of the Institute of Defense of the Right of Defense (IDDD), Augusto de Arruda Botelho, signed on this Thursday (9) three agreements for technical cooperation to facilitate the implementation of the project “Audiência de Custódia” all over Brazil and to enable the operation of alternative provisional remedies, such as the use of ankle monitors.

During the ceremony, the president of the STF said that one of the main goals of those agreements is to put an end to the “culture of prison” existent on the country, assuring to all people the fundamental guarantees of the Federal Constitution and of the treaties regarding Human Rights that were signed by the country. The minister reveled that Brazil has now about 600 thousand prisoners, from which 40% are provisional prisoners – the second country that sends more people to prison in the whole world. According to the minister, there are not adequate establishments and they are also not enough to maintain this huge population of prisoners, that grows in a geometric scale, said Lewandowski.
According to the minister José Eduardo Cardozo, the audiences of custody may reduce the number of prisoners, what, in his understanding, contributes to solve the problem of the Brazilian prison system , which is deficient, anachronistic, generator of violence and of violation of human rights. Some prisons may be compared to “medieval dungeons, schools of crime”, stated the minister of Justice.

Audiences


The first agreement aims to increase the program of audiences of custody. The idea is that anyone arrested in flagrant would be immediately presented to a judge. The program is already in the implementation stage in the capital of the state of São Paulo and should be working in the other 14 entities of the Federation by the middle of the year.

Alternative provisional remedies

The second agreement signed, explained minister Lewandowski, intends to enable the alternative measures to provisional prison, which is the one made in exceptional cases, when the suspect is harmful for society. The Code of Criminal Process already states these alternative measures, which may be ankle monitors, periodical attendance to Court, prohibition of access to determined places or to make contact with determined people, the prohibition of leaving a certain region, among others.

Ankle monitors

The last agreement singed aims the construction of electronic monitoring centers to incentive the use of ankle monitors. It’s not possible for judges to use these alternative measures of control now, because there’s not yet the equipment or means to control the movements of the prisoners, according to minister Lewandowski. With the agreement, the minister of Justice is now responsible, alongside with the states, for the purchase of ankle monitors and for the construction of the centers.


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