AMERICA/BRAZIL - Prisons do not re-educate and are in crisis: intervention of the Archbishop of Rio

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Rio de Janeiro (Agenzia Fides) - The Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, His Exc. Mgr. Orani João Tempesta, recently appointed Cardinal by Pope Francis, has questioned the Brazilian prison system, highlighting the fact that the country's prisons "do not re-educate" inmates. According to the note sent to Fides Agency, the Archbishop met with the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, in Brasilia, on January 21, and on this occasion expressed his concern over the prisons in Brazil, which are in a situation of tremendous crisis.
The situation of Brazilian prisons has attracted the attention of international organizations after last year’s violence in the prisons of the state of Maranhao, where 62 people died in 2013. In 2014 the penitential center of Pedrinhas, one of the most violent in the country, always in the state of Maranhao, has already recorded three deaths, the last on January 21. Pedrinhas reflects the reality of the situation in the Brazilian prison system. According to a recent official study, published by the local press, prisons in Brazil can accommodate 306.497 prisoners, but at the end of 2011 there were 514.582 prisoners. The Minister of Justice has announced the construction of new premises for prisons before the end of 2014. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 23/01/2014)