National Prison Pastoral
Torture in times of mass imprisonment: Pre-trial Detention, Vulnerable Groups and the Justice System in the Face of Criminal Violence
Objetivos e público prioritário
To contribute to the improvement and strengthening of strategies to prevent and fight torture in prisons, especially regarding pre-trial detainees and other vulnerable populations in the prison system, closely linked to the struggle for disincarceration.
Follow-up of torture denounces:
- Provision of maintenance to the Prison Pastoral’s online system and its other channels (on-site, postal and telephone) used to receive torture denounces; monitoring of the justice system’s response to the denounces, seeking to influence their proceedings as to comply with national and international standards; maintenance and updating of the Prison Pastoral Database on torture, registering new cases and updates.
Local work in São Paulo and in other eight States:
- Visiting prisons and police stations in nine states, in the five regions of the country, focusing on raising information on cases of torture and on the conditions of imprisonment, with special attention to pre-trial detainees and to the identification of vulnerable groups in the prison system; conducting a training activity in each of the visited states to qualify the organization’s performance in preventing and fighting torture, presenting the conclusions and proposals of the report “Torture in times of mass incarceration” and of the National Agenda for Disincarceration; verification of torture cases that have already been registered in the database, making efforts to meet in person the victims, complainants and authorities responsible for the investigation; presentation to local authorities of the report “Torture in times of mass incarceration”.
- Elaboration of articles on the analyzes and conclusions of the report “Torture in times of mass incarceration”, which will be disseminated in selected communication vehicles; preparation of a guidebook to be distributed to Prison Pastoral agents, seeking the construction of accessible content and visual material that can provide practical guidelines on how to deal with cases of torture; preparation of a new report at the end of the project, containing the updated data from the Torture Database organized by the Prison Pastoral, the results achieved during the visits to the states, focusing on pre-trial detainees and vulnerable groups, and a wide and critical reflection on the analysis articulated in the previous report; updating the National Agenda for Disincarceration, with regard to its work on the prevention and fight against torture, seeking to include in the text the analyzes and conclusions of the report “Torture in times of mass incarceration”.
- Holding a national seminar on disincarceration and the fight against torture; holding the II National Meeting for Disincarceration; elaboration and dissemination of an online/audio thematic newsletters on torture and disincarceration; holding lectures and debates in São Paulo with partners working with prevention and the fight against torture; reproduction of the report “Torture in times of mass incarceration”; launch event of the new report; production of videos.
- Trips to Brasilia to conduct advocacy with Justice System authorities, aiming at the construction of more effective national norms or recommendations for the prevention and fight against torture in the Judiciary system, Public Ministry and Public Defender’s Office; bringing at least one pro bono civil action aiming at obtaining compensation to an individual who has been a victim of torture, ill-treatment or other type of state violence.
About the organization
The Prison Pastoral’s mission is to offer religious and human assistance to detainees and former detainees, as well as to their families. The work focuses on two axes, a strictly religious one, which goal is to fulfill the constitutional mandate of offering religious assistance and the second aims at providing human rights-based assistance to those people. Over the last 20 years, the Prison Pastoral has focused on the problem of torture and it adopted a strategy to fight this practice using two approaches: prevention and reaction. The preventive approach is held mainly through regular visits to prison units, which the Pastoral does through its volunteers spread throughout Brazil; the reactive one consists in sending notitias criminis (formal communication) to authorities responsible for ascertaining the suspicion of torture.
- Brazilian Institute of Criminal Sciences.
- Global Justice
Guaranteeing the rule of law and criminal justice