National Council on Criminal and Prison Policy discusses São Paulo prison system

Conectas and another five civil society organizations present their priorities to guide the work of the Council, at a meeting held in Brasília


July 15, 2011

On June 27, the National Council on Criminal and Prison Policy (CNPCP) met in Brasília to discuss the condition of the prison system in the state of São Paulo. Fernanda Machiaveli represented Conectas, Instituto Sou da Paz, Instituto de Defesa do Direito de Defesa (IDDD), Pastoral Carcerária, Instituto Terra Trabalho e Cidadania (ITTC) and Justiça Global in the meeting.

The five  organizations submitted a document, which was presented orally to the Council, addressing 15 points they consider priorities in the state of São Paulo: prison overcrowding, shortage of space in minimum security work-release prisons, lack of provision of legal services, education, health, restricted sunlight, right to demonstrate, detained women, oppressive searches of visitors, secure psychiatric facilities and Psychiatric Treatment and Custody Hospitals, production and dissemination of prison system data, access to prison facilities and to documentation, strengthening of the Community Councils, an ombuds office that is independent from the State Prison Administration Department, and a Mechanism for the Prevention and Combat of Torture in the State of São Paulo.

Present at the meeting were the council members Geder Luiz Rocha Gomes (president), Adeildo Nunes, Alvino Augusto de Sá, Christine Kampmann Bittencourt, Fernando Braga Viggiano, Luiz Guilherme Mendes de Paiva, Milton Jordão de Freitas Pinheiro, Rodrigo Duque Estrada Roig Soares and Valdirene Daufemback, and the designated rapporteurs for the state of São Paulo Carlos Eduardo Adriano Japiassú and Herbert José de Almeida Carneiro.

The council members confirmed that they would incorporate all the issues raised by the organizations into their final report on the São Paulo state prison system, which should be approved at the next meeting of the CNPCP in August. They asserted that measures addressing these topics will be adopted. The organizations are now awaiting the release of the official report.

About the CNPCP

The CNPCP reports to the Ministry of Justice and it is comprised of 13 full members and four alternate members who are appointed by the Ministry. Its mandate encompasses the proposal of guidelines for criminal policy and the inspection and oversight of prison facilities.
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