Terra, Trabalho e Cidadania Institute – ITTC (São Paulo)
Women in Prison (MulhereSemPrisão) - Facing the Invisibility of Women Undergoing Criminal Justice
Objetivos e público prioritário
Encourage female disincarceration by encouraging the application of alternative sentences to the pre-trial detention of women, reducing the harm caused to their lives by incarceration.
- Organize a literature review on methodology and the theme of custody hearings; hiring a statistical consultant; developing a quantitative sample to be applied at the custody hearings; pre-field research; elaboration and improvement of a form to collect data during custody hearings; field research during custody hearings in the city of São Paulo and in the Greater São Paulo; interviews with justice system authorities; elaboration of a report on the impact of custody hearings on women; writing the research report.
Workshop with women prisoners:
- Preparing a workshop program for women prisoners; defining the prison unit in which the workshops will be held; Asking the director of the prison unit where the workshops will be held to authorize the activity; promoting the activity among the women of the unit; holding the workshops with women detainees; registering the meetings; preparing printed material for the workshops using the MulhereSemPrisão report; after the workshops, re-elaborate the material using the contribution provided by the women detainees; assessing the activity.
- Carry on the participation in meetings with the Public Defender’s Office of the state of São Paulo on improving the quality of the of assistance policy offered to female pre-trial detainees; ongoing training for human rights defenders; contacting the Public Defender’s Office to present the conclusions of the MulhereSem-Prisão report and propose actions in partnership; contacting the organization Transforma MP, composed of justice and human rights prosecutors, to present the conclusions of the MulhereSemPrisão report and propose actions in partnership; contacting the Association of Judges for Democracy (AJD); contacting the National Council of Justice (CNJ) to present the conclusions of the MulhereSemPrisão report and propose actions in partnership; contacting the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB) to present the conclusions of the MulhereSemPrisão report and propose actions in partnership; working in partnership with the Criminal Justice Network on the draft of the New Code of Criminal Procedure proposal; working in partnership with the Criminal Justice Network in the two bills that prohibit the abusive body search; working in partnership with the Criminal Justice Network in the bill that prohibits the use of handcuffs in women in labor; working in partnership with the Criminal Justice Network on the bill called “11 civilizational measures for the criminal justice system”, especially on the project that grants the conditional suspension of the sentence due to maternity; participation in a working group on gender discrimination in the criminal justice system within the Criminal Justice Network; participation in an amicus curiae for the Proposal for Binding Precedent nº 125 filed by the Federal Public Defender’s Office in the STF, which reads as follows: The privileged drug trafficking, described as drug trafficking performed by those who are first time offenders and do not integrate any criminal organization (article 33, § 4, of Law 11.343 / 2006) does not constitute a heinous crime, and the most rigorous parameters provided by article 44, sole paragraph, of Law 11,343 / 2006 and Law 8.072 /nineteen ninety”); press for the release of qualified official data on women detainees through the articulation of civil society, NGOs and social movements interested in the agenda; ongoing training for lawyers who will take part in custody hearings through a project carried out by IDDD (Institute for the Defense of the Right to Defense); holding talks with social movements and feminist movements to discuss the MulhereSemPrisão report.
- Elaboration of a communication plan to disclose the results of the MulhereSemPrisão report in different media vehicles; publication of press texts to disseminate the results; elaboration of a social media campaign to promote the launch event of the #MulhereSemPrisão report; organization the launch event of the MulhereSemPrisão report; press interviews; Round of Debates #MulhereSemPrisão; partner with the Criminal Justice Network to promote the newsletter on gender discrimination in criminal justice, through online interviews with the authors; preparation of a document summarizing recommendations for the disincarceration of women to subsidize advocacy action; preparation and presentation of an article on the #MulhereSemPrisão report at the 13th World Women’s Congress (MM), an international and interdisciplinary meeting on women, for women; participation in events and presentation of the #MulhereSemPrisão report in debates, seminars, etc.; produce a video on the recommendations raised by the research related to the impact of precautionary measures on women’s lives and the difficulties in complying to them; dissemination in social media.
The gender specificities of incarcerated women is invisible in their criminal proceedings. The procedural documents themselves say nothing on their maternal status, such as the number of children or stage of pregnancy. This invisibility is even greater when gender is intersected with other social markers, as in the case of trans, disabled and/or elderly women. The implementation of the custody hearings project in Brazil brought progress to the elaboration of criminal justice policies with potential for disincarceration, by allowing the arrested person to be taken to court within 24 hours of the arrest so that the legality of the flagrant arrest can be verified, as well as the conventionality of release or pre-trial detention, and the occurrence of ill-treatment and torture. For women caught in the act, custody hearings mean greater visibility of their gender specificities and vulnerabilities, since prior to custody hearings, according to a research called Sewing Justice conducted by the ITTC and the Prison Pastoral, the first contact of a detained woman with the judge happened an average of 136 days after her flagrant arrest, more than a month later than men in the same situation (who waited an average of 109 days). According to data from research conducted by INFOPEN, 44.7% of women in prison are pre-trial detainees, a much larger proportion than men (39.08%), which demonstrates that custody hearings have the potential to disincarcerate women. In addition, institutional mechanisms have been developed to guarantee provisional release based on gender criteria, such as the extension of legal hypotheses for the application of house arrest for pregnant women and women with children up to 12 years of age, based on the Legal Framework for Early Childhood (Law no. 13257/16) and the official translation of the Bangkok Rules by the National Justice Council (CNJ), in order to reinforce the need for alternative measures to imprisonment for women. The promotion of alternative sentences to the provisional arrest of women must be articulated and dialogued with the different actors in the justice system – Public Defenders, Judges, and Public Prosecution – to improve and expand the application of the Early Childhood Legal Framework and the Rules of Bangkok. These actors should be able to listen to women detainees, understand their individual situations, their gender specificities and the violation of rights caused by their imprisonment.
About the organization
The ITTC (Instituto Terra, Trabalho e Cidadania) is a human rights organization founded in 1997, which aims to eradicate gender inequality, guarantee rights, and fight imprisonment. The institute’s mission is to promote access to justice, guarantee the rights of imprisoned people and produce knowledge through a constant and systematic work in the following areas: assistance, public dialogue and education for citizenship.
Guaranteeing the rule of law and criminal justice