Conectas and partners submit contributions on the topic to the Higher Council of the Public Defender’s Office
August 19, 2011
On August 6, Conectas, in partnership with the Instituto em Defesa do Direito de Defesa (Defense of the Right of Defense Institute), Instituto Práxis de Direitos Humanos (Praxis Human Rights Institute), Instituto Sou da Paz, Instituto Terra Trabalho e Cidadania (Land, Employment and Citizenship Institute the São Paulo Public Defender’s Office Ombudsman and the Pastoral Carcerária, submitted a proposal to the public consultation held by the Higher Council of the Public Defender’s Office. The purpose of the consultation has been, since July 15, to compile suggestions on procedural aspects and imprisonment conditions in order to formulate an institutional policy on effective treatment for prisoners.
With regard to the legal treatment of pretrial detainees, the proposal made by the organizations calls for public defenders to summon the accused for a conversation in the court house before the formal involvement of the defense service in the case (before even pleading to the charges) to formulate defense strategies. The organizations also propose for the legal services of public defenders to be provided inside prisons.
Concerning the inspection of prison facilities, the proposal recommends guidelines that include periodic visits to be made by attorneys who work in criminal law and by those who work in civil law. Furthermore, it emphasizes the importance of dialogue between the Public Defender’s Office and the other agencies that already inspect detention conditions. Reports of the visits should then be compiled and made available for consultation on the website of the São Paulo State Public Defender’s Office.
These and other proposals received during the public consultation will be discussed in a public hearing to be organized by the Higher Council of the Public Defender’s Office, following the codification of all the suggestions that were received.