The National Council of Justice and the National Justice Department concluded the joint mission in Pernambuco on the 19th with a commitment to change the state’s prison system, by both the state government and the Pernambuco Court of Justice (TJ-PE). ).
The willingness to recognize the existing problems in Pernambuco’s prisons and the willingness to change the reality was manifested in meetings of the delegation led by the national justice inspector, Minister Maria Thereza de Assis Moura, with the state governor, Paulo Câmara, and with the president of the TJ-PE, judge Luiz Carlos de Barros Figueirêdo.
The head of the local Executive admitted the seriousness of the situation in the state prisons, especially those in Complexo do Curado, in the capital, and reported that the government had difficulties due to the effects of the economic recession that began in 2015 and Covid-19.
A set of measures to rehabilitate overcrowded jails, in short and very short terms, is being developed, with changes scheduled to take place until December this year, when the current government’s term ends.
According to the national corregedora, the governor’s commitment to change changes the perspective for people who live in the three prisons of Curado. “This shows the need we have for a dialogue and a joint commitment, not only by the Executive, but also by the Judiciary. We left here in a much more comfortable situation than we saw this morning (on a visit to Complexo do Curado), aware of this dialogue and this joint commitment. We can leave optimistic that we can improve this situation.”
The state government intends to allocate R$ 53 million to reduce prison overcrowding, strengthen the number of criminal police officers and middle and higher-level professionals, and ensure greater security in the electronic monitoring of inmates.
By the end of the year, through the Department of Justice and Human Rights, it is planned to hire 466 new technicians at medium and higher levels, the conclusion of the selection process to admit 500 new criminal police officers through four simplified selections, the opening of thousand vacancies in unit 2 of the Prison of Itaquitinga, in addition to bidding to acquire another four thousand electronic anklets. All measures will aim to improve the situation of Complexo do Curado.
According to the supervisor of the Department of Monitoring and Inspection of the Prison System and of the System of Execution of Socio-educational Measures of the CNJ (DMF/CNJ), counselor Mauro Martins, the governor was aware of the dimension of the problem, including the provision of very short measures deadline. “I am happy that the president of the TJ-PE is also committed and assumed here at the meeting the commitment to prioritize this problem in this administration”, said Martins.
According to the president of the TJ-PE, judge Luiz Carlos de Barros Figueirêdo, the criminal crisis is structural and systemic. To reverse the situation, a joint effort is required from all institutions that work in the prison area and the recognition of the problem, and then to face it.
The TJ has already taken some measures to reduce the stock of criminal cases, such as the creation of the Criminal Justice Coordination, the reassignment of servers from the second instance to the criminal courts of first instance, the expansion of the jurisdiction of special civil courts, to also cover criminal proceedings, and the creation of a criminal hearing center.
The judge announced that the Criminal Justice of Pernambuco will promote a joint effort for the trial of criminal cases, both in the instruction phase (production of evidence and hearing of witnesses) and in the sentence. “We need to lower the stock (volume of processes) to have a standard of normality. This is the main problem”, pointed out Figueirêdo.
The judge also said that he will send a letter to the rapporteur of the case, with copies for all members of the plenary, urging everyone to conclude a judgment that prevents the implementation of one of the measures imposed by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IDH Court) Brazil due to human rights violations committed with the maintenance of Complexo do Curado, in Recife, a group of three prisons where there are 1,800 places for 6,700 men.
The judgment of the repetitive demands resolution incident (IRDR) will give the TJ’s definitive position regarding the double calculation. The institute refers to the thousands of cases of prisoners who served time in Curado and who, according to the decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, have the right to count two days less in their sentence for each day spent in Curado.
“Do not take this as a demand or as a tug of the ear from me or the CNJ, but I urge you to do what you can, within your limits, to vote on this IRDR”, he declared. While there is no definitive decision, the double calculation cannot be adopted by the Justice of Pernambuco.
In addition to seeking to provide solutions for the critical situation in Pernambuco’s prisons, the delegation led by the National Justice Department and the Department for Monitoring and Supervision of the Prison System and the System for the Execution of Socio-educational Measures (DMF) spent a week in Pernambuco to improve the state prison system.
A group of 60 magistrates and civil servants convened by the CNJ trained professionals from the Pernambuco Court of Justice (TJ-PE) who operate the technological systems that monitor the legal status of prisoners and the sentences served in Pernambuco’s prisons. The activities also included visits to prison units, criminal courts and criminal enforcement, to obtain a diagnosis of the needs and challenges of Criminal Justice.
The mission was accompanied by technicians from the Fazer Justiça (CNJ/UNDP) program, since several issues identified are foreseen in the program’s field of incidences for sustained improvements in the long term, as has already occurred in recent inspections by the CNJ in Ceará and in the Amazon. With information from the CNJ press office.