Center for Defense of Human Rights – CDH Petrópolis

Adole(Sendo): research and intervention with adolescents from Petrópolis admitted in youth detention centers

Rio de Janeiro

Objectives and target audience

Conduct intervention research to investigate the number of teenagers arrested in Petrópolis, identifying whether the arrests were related with drugs and what sentences were given to the committed offences. We observed an increasing number of young people who are arrested due to the possession of small amounts of drugs. The research aims to question the decisions taken by judges who insist on not complying with the Statute of Children and Adolescents (ECA), and also analyze the issue from the experiences and complaints that were received, as well as from the raised bibliography. There will also be follow-up reporting on the situation of young people who are arrested and admitted in youth detention centers as well as of their families.

Main activities

Profile the teenagers of Petropolis who are arrested in youth detention centers.

Systematize reports and allegations of ill-treatment at the time of arrest or during the short time spent at the police station, in the process of hearing and in the institution.

Hold seminars.

Accompany young people who were arrested and subsequently sentenced to admission in youth detention centers, as well as when they remain in the DEGASE.

Meetings to discuss the criminalization of poor youth with mothers in biweekly meetings, to foster peer to peer assistance and raise the political aspects of this issue.

Organization of discussions in groups for those young people who are in youth detention centers about their situation.


When a teenager commits a crime, the Statute of Children and Adolescents (ECA) states that he or she is liable and the penalty should have pedagogical purpose in response to his or her behavior. The measures should consider the ability of the person to fulfill them, the circumstances and the seriousness of the offense. The following educational measures are possible: warning, damage repairing, community service, assisted liberty, semi-liberty and admission to youth detention centers.

Adolescents who commit any offense that is not characterized as a serious crime have had their rights violated when they are admitted in these institutions. Drugs possession, for example, does not put anyone’s life at risk therefore is not characterized as an offense that requires such a measure. According to ECA, this measure can only be applied in cases of serious violence to the person, of reiteration of serious offense or failure to comply with the previously proposed measure. Petropolis is one of the municipalities where the Court has decided to confine the liberty of adolescents who carry small amounts of drugs. It is alarming, once the city units lack pedagogical function and have prison characteristics, such as DEGASE. Without a consistent pedagogical project, the socio-educational system is useless, being left only with the incarceration possibility, increasing the possibility of criminal association, once it is impossible to educate people in the midst of barbarism.

About the organization

The Center for Defense of Human Rights – Petrópolis was created to ensure, among other things, reflection and action towards the various situations of injustice in our society, both in cases of blatant disregard for fundamental human rights and also concerning subhuman social and structural life conditions engendered by the current socio-political-economic system.


Network for the discussion on public policies and care practices for drug users.
Social and collective networks in the communities in which the project is held.
Participation in different Social Control Municipal Councils.

Funding Line

Violence against youth (2016)



Total Granted

R$ 38,800


12 months

Main Themes

Youth Rights

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