Video series marks six years of pre-trial detention hearings in the country       

Brasilia, 15 December, 2021 - The National Council of Justice (CNJ) launched five videos, produced in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), that highlight the trajectory of the pre-trial detention hearings in Brazil.

Pre-trial detention hearings were regulated in December 2015 by Resolution CNJ n. 213/2015, which also created protocols to guide the Justice System in presenting the person arrested to a judge within 24 hours, following international guidelines.

The first video in the series and a commemorative publication on the evolution of custody hearings over the past six years were launched during the closing of the event High Studies in Pre-Trial Detention Hearings  in September. The other videos are unpublished and feature a timeline, relevant data, and information on torture and mistreatment in custody.

UNODC has been supporting the CNJ in actions to strengthen pre-trial detention hearings in Brazil since 2019, through the Fazendo Justiça program. The program is a partnership between the CNJ and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with support from the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, to focus on challenges in the field of deprivation of liberty.

According to the coordinator of the CNJ's Department of Monitoring and Supervision of the Prison System and the System for Execution of Socio-Educational Measures, Luís Geraldo Sant'Ana Lanfredi, the more than 750,000 pre-trial detention hearings already held throughout the country confirm the importance of new insights on the entrance to the prison system. "Besides celebrating the achievements of these past six years, this moment also calls for assimilation of the challenges on the context of resuming hearings during COVID-19, to advance the consolidation of this mechanism and expand social care to people in custody".

The UNODC Brazil Representative, Elena Abbati, highlighted the advances in the last two years in the field of pre-trial detention hearings, aligning Brazil with international best practices. With the support of the Fazendo Justiça program, several technical manuals were published to guide the decision-making of the judiciary, based on parameters built through evidence. "This Thursday (16), we will have yet another delivery with the launch of the e-learning on the Nelson Mandela Rules on the Treatment of Prisoners, which was translated into Portuguese."

The CNJ has invested in institutionalizing social services in the context of pre-trial detention hearings. Through a method based on the principles of social protection, networking, and citizenship, it has expanded the provision of these services and institutionalized in the Assistance to Persons under Custody (Apec), already present in 21 states in Brazil.

Deputy coordinator of Fazendo Justiça on the topic of custody hearings, Rafael Barreto assesses that they have brought an unprecedented feature to the control of the entrance to prison systems. "Since 2015, the percentage of provisional detainees in Brazil has reduced considerably, and we have no doubt that custody hearings have played an important role in this process".

Soon, eight short videos detailing the operation of pre-trial detention hearings will be released, in simplified language to optimize the dissemination of relevant information to people who have been arrested and their families.

Watch the videos on the CNJ YouTube channel by accessing the link.

With information from the CNJ News Agency



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