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Criminal enforcement judges should follow CNJ recommendations to avoid dissemination of coronavirus in prisons


The Plenary of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF) examined, in the session of this Wednesday (18), a request from the Institute of Defense of the Defense Law - Márcio Thomaz Bastos (IDDD) to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus in the penal justice and socio-educational system of the country. By majority, the Justices understood that, at this moment, the Judiciary should follow the recommendations on the issue issued by the National Council of Justice (CNJ) and by joint ordinance of the Ministries of Health and Justice and Public Security.


CNJ Recommendation 62/2020, cited at the trial, provides guidance to the Courts and magistrates on the adoption of preventive measures against the spread of the new coronavirus (Covid-19) within the criminal justice and socio-educational systems. In relation to those who are already imprisoned, it suggests the re-evaluation of provisional prisons, especially for the most vulnerable groups (such as mothers, the disabled and indigenous) or when the establishment is overcrowded or without medical care. It also recommends the re-evaluation of pre-trial detention for more than 90 days or for less serious crimes, and indicates that new prison orders should respect 'maximum exceptionality'.

As for prisoners already serving a sentence, the recommendation is for magistrates to evaluate the granting of early release in cases prescribed by law and jurisprudence, and also the reconsideration of the schedule of temporary releases in accordance with contingency plans prepared by the Executive. It recommends the option of home detention for prisoners in open or semi-open regime or when there are symptoms of illness, as well as the suspension of the obligation to present themselves in court for a period of 90 days in applicable cases.


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