Police investigate death of Regional Prison inmate


The death of an inmate at the Santa Maria Regional Prison is being investigated by the Civil Police. The family of Letícia Gonçalves, 41 years old, who died in July this year, accuses the Superintendency of Penitentiary Services (Susepe) of not having provided support to the prisoner, who fell ill inside the prison house.

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Imprisoned since 2021 for drug trafficking, Letícia reported to her lawyer, at the beginning of June this year, that she was having health problems. At the meeting, she stated that she had already received medical care inside the prison, but that she had not felt any improvement. As time passes and your health condition worsens, the lawyer made two legal requests, both accepted by judge Ulysses Louzadaso that her client could receive medical care outside the prison house, order that would not have been fulfilled by Susepe.

The orders took place in June. Most of the consultations were carried out by the doctor who works weekly inside the prison. In day July 8Letícia was taken to the Santa Maria University Hospital (Husm) already unconscious and She was hospitalized for two weeks in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). On July 24th, Letícia He couldn’t resist and died.

The defense of the inmate and her family allege that there was a failure to provide assistance on the part of the prison administration, which would have led to the worsening of Letícia’s health. Susepe was contacted by the report and took a position on the matter:

The prison administration complied with the court decision and sent the prisoner to appropriate medical care. The victim was admitted to the hospital after the Susepe team called the Mobile Emergency Care Service (Samu). It is worth noting that she also received specialized care prior to the court decisions.

Photo: Nathália Schneider (Diary)

Check below, in chronological order, what the documents presented by the lawyer show and what Susepe says about the questions in the report.

  • 05/22/23- According to Susepe, Letícia began to report symptoms such as headaches, earaches and sore throats, during care with a nursing professional inside the prison.
  • First week of June – According to the defense, in one of the visits, the prisoner reported that “she had been unable to eat for at least a week and that she needed care outside the prison house.”
  • 06/12/23- According to documents released by Letícia’s family lawyer, a court request was filed urgently, requesting that the convict be sent to the UPA for medical care. It was reported that Letícia “was not eating, had an infection in her throat, ears and was not urinating. She also reported that she did not go out into the courtyard, as she was in a lot of pain. She reported that she asked Susepe agents for help, but only today did they take her to the Infirmary, they gave him some medicine, but he didn’t improve and was very ill, needing medical attention extremely urgently.”
  • 06/13/23- The request was authorized by judge Ulysses Fonseca Louzadadetermining that the inmate “was sent urgently, with escort from the prison staff, to the UPA or a different service center.”

  • 06/19/23- According to information provided by Susepe, The The prisoner received medical care inside the prison unit that day. After the consultation, in which the use of medication was prescribed, the technical team would have contacted the prisoner’s family, who would have provided the medication.

  • 06/22/23- The lawyer files a second court request again requesting care outside the prison house. Based on the documents, the request is again urgent, reinforcing that the prisoner continued to claim pain and that “it would have been of no use to consult the doctor at the prison house who attended to her. The technical defense requires that the re-educated be sent with extreme urgency to the UPA or any health unit capable of assisting your needs completely, where you can carry out the necessary exams and receive effective care so that you can recover from the illness.” Here, the defense requests that the prison director be held responsible for failing to comply with the court order.
  • 06/23/23- Judge Ulysses Fonseca Louzada again authorizes the requested request. However, in the same document he reinforced “no evidence of non-compliance with the court order, as the prisoner was treated in the prison’s health unit by the responsible doctor”.
  • 06/25/23- According to Susepein this day, Letícia was attended to by Samu professionals inside the prison, who provided assistance, medicated her and released her. Like this, After this assessment, there would be no need for removal to an Emergency Care Unit (UPA).
  • 06/26/23- Also according to Susepe, the prisoner, who claimed severe pain, was once again seen by a professional from the municipal health network in the prison unit and, on the same date, sent to the UPAwhere new medical treatment was prescribed, which would have been completed in the prison unit. According to documents made available by the lawyer, on that day, Letícia was treated at the Dom Antônio Reis Basic Health Unit, close to the prison.
  • 06/29/23- Three days later, there was another service by Samu professionals at the penitentiary.
  • 03/07/23- Susepe informed that, on this day, further medical care was provided inside the prison establishment.
  • 07/08/23- On this day, at 5:30 am, The victim was admitted to the Santa Maria University Hospital (Husm). According to the medical certificate, signed on the same day by the hospital, “the patient is in the Red Room, in serious condition, is intubated and is using mechanical ventilation.” Letícia was admitted to the ICU in serious condition for 16 days.
  • 07/24/23- Husm confirmed the death of the victim, which occurred at 1:30 am. According to the death certificate, the direct cause of death was “other forms of shock”. According to the document, the “patient was recently diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, without treatment and was hospitalized with an unidentified infection, with a high viral load and received empiric treatment.” Other complications were also described in the document.
Photo: Nathália Schneider (Diary)

In addition to information about care, Susepe stated that “the administration of the prison establishment was aware that the prisoner had symptoms such as headaches, earaches and sore throats. Due to these complaints, she was being attended to by health professionals at the own prison unit and in the municipal network, so he did not stop receiving care and treatment”.

Asked about not having referred the prisoner to specialized medical care previouslySusepe responded that “there was no removal for previous hospitalization because the health professionals who attended to her did not indicate this measure and that Susepe would have been fully capable of carrying it out, if it had been so indicated”.

After Letícia’s death, Susepe reported that all standard procedures were adopted by the technical sector of the prison unit. It also reported that the prisoner’s family was informed, certificates relating to the case were requested and documentation was also delivered to her family, in addition to providing the necessary guidance.

Asked about the number of health professionals available within the prisonThe Susepe replied that there is a general practitionerwhat meets once a week (only on Mondays), a Infectious disease specialist who meets once a month and a nurse, who is always on site on Thursdays. There are also a dentist, who visits twice a week. Furthermore, also informed that there is another nursefrom Susepe’s staff, who operates on site daily.

A Letícia’s defense claimed that Susepe would not have “enough staff” to escort the prisoner to a health facility outside the prison and that this justification would have been given by agents at times. In relation to this, the response from the Penitentiary Services Superintendence is that the information is not correct and that escorts for medical care “are considered priorities”.

Investigation underway

After a police report was registered on August 17th at the Emergency Care Police Station (DPPA), the case was forwarded to the Homicide and Personal Protection Police Station (DPHPP). According to delegate Marcelo Arigony, The investigation is ongoing and some statements have already been collected.

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The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Police investigate death Regional Prison inmate



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