Institute in the Defense of the Right to Defense

Addressing pre-trial detention: fighting female imprisonment and protecting the maternal bond in the State of São Paulo, and strengthening custody hearings in Brazil

São Paulo

Objectives and target audience

Contribute to facing the abusive use of pre-trial detention of pregnant women and mothers and to strengthening and expanding custody hearings, all over the country.

Main activities

  • Holding meetings with the Department of Penitentiary Administration, the board of the selected prison unit and the São Paulo Public Defender’s Office to organize and define project details.
  • Selecting cases to compose the testimonies to be printed on postcards; producing and mailing these postcards; broad dissemination of the campaign.
  • Renewing partnerships with organizations that participated in the first phase of the monitoring; reviewing and adjusting research instruments; holding virtual preparation meetings with all research teams; local research teams will monitor the custody hearings, including the one month trials; systematizing the information collected by local teams and preparing layout; launching and broad dissemination of the report; influencing the states participating in the research.
  • Sending official letters to the state courts requesting information regarding the expansion of custody hearings in the states, number of counties included, as well as their expansion plans; collecting the information requested; contacting the national Justice Council to gain access to the SISTAC – Custody Hearing Information System; collecting and organizing the information received; preparing material for specialists, layout and printing; sending the material.
  • Approaching and liaising with judges, prosecutors, public defenders and local BAR representatives (in selected states); holding facilitated debates with different authorities of the justice system in those states; Drawing up a common agenda for the expansion and consolidation of custody hearings.


The scenario of female incarceration in Brazil increased 35% between 2010 and 2014, increasing from 28,188 to about 38,000 imprisoned women. It is also in the state of São Paulo that the largest female detainee’s population is concentrated where it accounted for 39% of the Brazilian contingent in 2014. It is important to note that the number of imprisoned women in Brazil increased 570% in the last 15 years (from 2000 to 2014) and that 68% of incarcerated women are Black. Despite this unfortunate scenario, 2016 was marked by important legislative achievements involving the right of women prisoners, which implementation must now be guaranteed. On March 8, Law 13,257 / 2016, known as the Legal Framework for Early Childhood Care, was passed, which sets forth principles and guidelines for the formulation and implementation of public policies aimed at this audience. The text also carries important measures to be taken in the criminal justice system, with the amendment to articles of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Among them, there are three new hypotheses of house arrest: pregnancy, mothers of children up to 12 years old and men who are solely responsible for the care of children up to 12 years old. On March 8, the National Justice Council published the Portuguese version of the UN Rules for the Treatment of Female Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders – Bangkok Rules. It is in this context that IDDD is fighting incarceration, a topic with greater empathy potential and, therefore, strategic for confronting the entire prison culture in the country.

About the organization

The IDDD is an organization founded in July 2000, which works to strengthen the right of defense. Its mission is to promote in society and in state institutions, the idea that everyone is entitled to a quality defense, to the presumption of innocence, to full access to justice, to a fair trial and to the enforcement of the sentence imposed in a dignified manner, regardless of their social class, whether guilty or innocent and regardless of the type of crime the person was accused of.

Funding Line

Criminal Justice (2017-2018)



Total Granted

R$ 522.686,00


24 months

Main Themes

Guaranteeing the rule of law and criminal justice

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