Justice Council publishes recommendations to combat Covid-19 in prisons

Justice Council publishes recommendations to combat Covid-19 in prisons

Given the high infection rate of Covid-19 and the risk of the lethal virus spreading chronically throughout the prison system, the CNJ (National Justice Council) has issued a series of recommendations on the urgency of preventing the virus from having a severe impact on Brazilian prisons.

Signed by the president of the CNJ and the Supreme Court, Justice Dias Toffoli, Recommendation 62 has been sent to representatives of all courts across the country. The measures should remain in effect for 90 days and may be extended.

The 16-article document recommends a series of actions, in particular a review of pre-trial detentions. Considering that Brazil has 753,676 prisoners – the majority in secure facilities – the CNJ is looking for ways to reduce this number. And one method is to review the cases of the 253,963 people (33.47%) in pre-trial detention, using the provisions of Article 316 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The document lists the cases that should be given priority: pregnant or breastfeeding women, mothers or guardians with children under 12, indigenous people, the elderly and people with disabilities or who are in the risk group. Afterwards, people who are in prisons that are overcrowded or that do not have a medical staff will also be considered.

To ensure that the recommendations are implemented, the GMF (Groups for the Monitoring and Oversight of the Prison System), together with the court CIJs (Childhood and Youth Coordination Offices), will be responsible for monitoring and overseeing the measures adopted for the prevention and treatment of Covid-19.

>>> Read the document in full here.

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