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Justice Lewandowski participates in the launch of the custody hearing in MG


The acceptance of all states to the Custody Hearing Project, conceived by the National Council of Justice (CNJ) to allow the presentation of the prisoner that was arrested on the act of the crime to a judge within 24 hours, can result in savings of R$ 4.3 billion. The estimated number was disclosed by Chief Justice of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF) and of the CNJ, Minister Ricardo Lewandowski at the launch of the project in Minas Gerais, this Friday (17/7).

"The prisoner costs an average of R$ 3 thousand per month to the State, and if we implement custody hearings throughout the country until 2016, that can result in savings of R$ 4.3 billion that can be invested in education, health, public transportation, and other services," said the minister. The savings happen because, with the custody hearing, the judge has more elements to decide for the conditional provisional freedom, reducing the prison population and saving public funds.

Lewandowski also talked about the legal needs that led the CNJ to develop the methodology, such as the fact that Brazil is a signatory of the Pact of San Jose of Costa Rica, of 1992, which envisages the presentation of the prisoner to a judge in the shortest term possible. He recalled that Brazil is the fourth country that most imprisons in the world, and 41% are provisional prisoners. "These are people who wait an average of four months before seeing a judge, living the offense to the principle of innocence and non-guilt. It is important that we correct this situation in a human and civilizing process”, he said.

The Minister also encouraged the fight against the culture of incarceration, highlighting that the Judiciary does not always act in accordance with the public opinion. "We judges have contradictory actions to the population, we cannot always respond to the streets, which are calling for more incarceration and more severe punishment, because that is not the solution for crime. We can't let people there to suffer violence and join factions, they are coming out worse than entered ", he pointed out.

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The Minister spoke about the Custody Hearing Project after receiving the Necklace of Judiciary Merit, created by the Court of Justice of the State of Minas Gerais (TJ-MG) in 1986 to honor individuals and institutions that stand out in the provision of services to Justice. The event gathered representatives of the Justice System and local authorities, such as the President of TJ-MG, Pedro Bitencourt, and the Minas Gerais Governor, Fernando Pimentel.

Before the ceremony, the minister attended the first custody hearing of the state, held on the Court. From now on, the pilot project will be implemented in Belo Horizonte and in the metropolitan region, with the presentation of the prisoners arrested on the act of the crime to a judge within 24 hours, even on weekends and holidays.

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