UNODC Brazil facilitates prison management exchange visit of Paraguayan authorities in the state of Maranhão

Photo: Clayton Monteles / Edition: Vitória Maria Carvalho

Brasilia, 4 July 2022 - The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) supported, from 22 to 24 June, an exchange visit between authorities of the Ministry of Justice of Paraguay and the Secretariat of Penitentiary Administration of Maranhão (SEAP-MA) of Brazil.

The initiative took place under the project "Organized Crime in Prisons and Drug Trafficking from a Regional Perspective", implemented by UNODC.

The aim of the meeting was to promote the exchange of experiences and encourage cooperation between professionals of the penitentiary system of Maranhão/Brazil and Paraguay on issues such as tackling organized crime, classification of prisoners, training for prison officers and prison intelligence, among others.

According to the Secretary of Penitentiary Administration of Maranhão and President of the National Council of Secretaries of State of Justice, Citizenship, Human Rights and Penitentiary Administration (CONSEJ), Murilo Andrade, "it is gratifying to receive teams from other states and countries in the state of Maranhão, not only to share what we are doing, but also to exchange experiences. With this, we learn a lot". 

Representing the Ministry of Justice of Paraguay on the visit were the Director of Legislative and Regulatory Assistance, Mirna Carolina Morinigo; the director of the Technical Institute of Penitentiary Education and Training, Fatima Cabrera; and the advisor Alberto Ocampos.

Photo: Clayton Monteles / Edition: Vitória Maria Carvalho

During the three-day meeting, in addition to meetings held with the various areas of SEAP-MA, representatives of the Ministry of Justice of Paraguay had the opportunity to visit three prison units of Maranhão.

On the occasion, they visited the Penitentiary Complex of São Luís, including the labour workshops and the Prison Unit of São Luís 4 (UPSL4), of medium and maximum security. Visits were also made to the Women's Prison Unit (UPFEM) and the Prison Unit of Anil (UP Anil), where the participants were able to attend a meeting of the Technical Classification Commission.

According to Mirna Carolina Morinigo, the visit provided the opportunity to "know a penitentiary system that has been transformed through organized work and showed that the measures taken by the Ministry of Justice of Paraguay go in the same direction". About perspectives after the mission, the representative of the Paraguayan Ministry of Justice added: "We feel enthusiastic about the visit and the possibilities of exchange opened by it".

UN Conventions - The organization of the exchange visit by UNODC relates to its role as guardian of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the three International Drug Control Conventions, as well as the Standard Minimum International Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, the Mandela and Bangkok Rules.

Project Organized Crime in Prisons and Drug Trafficking in a Regional Perspective

The exchange visit was held as part of the UNODC project called "Organized Crime in Prisons and Drug Trafficking in a Regional Perspective". This initiative aims to promote the dissemination and adoption of innovative and inter-institutional practices to strengthen prison management and the fight against organized crime, in line with international minimum standards. 

This project is implemented with the support of the United States Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).

For more information on UNODC's work on prison reform, click here, and for further information on UNODC’s support of Member States’ response to organized crime, click here



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