UNODC Brazil launches videos detailing process of pre-trial detention hearings on seventh anniversary of inauguration

Brasilia, 24 February, 2022 - In the seven years since the first pre-trial detention hearings were held in Brazil, the anniversary of which was celebrated on 24 February, UNODC Brazil launched a series of eight videos detailing what occurs from the moment of arrest to the different possible scenarios after the hearings are held, including assistance in the case of release.

The videos were produced in the framework of the Fazendo Justiça programme, a partnership between UNODC and the National Council of Justice (CNJ) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), with support from the Ministry of Justice and Public Safety (MJSP), which aims to address challenges in the field of deprivation of liberty.

The first custody hearings took place on 24 February 2015 in the Barra Funda Courthouse in São Paulo, with the objective of achieving the implementation of international agreements in Brazil, according to which an arrested person must be brought before the judiciary in the shortest time possible. While expanding nationwide, custody hearings had their validity confirmed by the Supreme Court and were later regulated by the CNJ, with the CNJ Resolution n. 213/2015.

For the coordinator of the Department for Monitoring and Supervision of the Prison System and the System for Execution of Socio-Educational Measures of the CNJ (DMF/CNJ), Luís Lanfredi, with almost 1 million hearings held, information about the court system’s operations must be accessible to society, especially to those who have had contact with the prison system and their families. "In the last seven years, the public authorities involved have understood the contribution of custody hearings to qualify the provision of justice and to greater rationality at the gateway, including in the field of public spending. The idea behind the videos is to bring this reality closer to a larger audience," she explained.

Since February 2015, over 850,000 custody hearings have been held across the country, contributing to a 10% reduction in the rate of pre-trial detainees during this period. After the suspension of the service during the initial pandemic period, the federative units are resuming the holding of hearings with respect to health security protocols.

Through Fazendo Justiça, the CNJ has been working on the articulation and agreement with the courts for the qualification and expansion of the hearings, including through the promotion of the service of Assistance to Persons in Custody (Apec). In 2020, the series Strengthening Pre-Trial Detention Hearings was launched, along with five manuals aimed at the judiciary.

Watch the series of videos on Pre-Trial Detention Hearings on the CNJ YouTube channel.


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