Group in Brazil Wants Community Work Not Prison for Petty Drug Traffickers

Complexo do Alemão, in Rio As part of the debate on violence reduction in Brazil, NGO Sou da Paz (I’m for Peace) Institute launched a campaign, which puts forward alternative penalties for carrying a small amount of drugs. 

On its website, the institute presents data showing that working at educational institutions, for instance, is a better punishment for both society and those who commit a crime for the first time without resorting to violence.

According to the NGO, the adoption of sentences like community work, fines, and the use of electronic tagging does not depend on legislation changes, as they are already provided for by Brazil’s Criminal Law.

Moreover, the 20 courts spread throughout the country dedicated to this sort of penalty attest to its preparedness. For Sou da Paz Coordinator, Bruno Langeani, “both judges and the population should start backing these alternatives.”

Jurist Luiz Flávio Gomes says that punishments, when educational in its character, are more effective in reforming individuals. He argues that Brazil ranks third in order of prison population, without any reduction in violence, and adds that imprisonment should be an action considered last.

“A campaign like this could alleviate the crisis in the prison system, and, even better, reform people,” he states.

The campaign’s organizers believe alternative sentences will help ease prison overcrowding. A survey conducted in São Paulo by Sou da Paz reveals that 97% of inmates arrested for carrying drugs did not have any weapons.

Among those with marijuana, 53% were in possession of 10 to 100 grams, and only 6.7% held over 1kg. As for those caught with cocaine, figures float from 52.6% to 4.58% respectively.

Gomes claims these detainees end up serving as soldiers in the hands of drug lords inside the facility. These people, he argues, can have their lives changed through education and work.

“A prison doesn’t educate. On the contrary. The adoption of other measures would improve the penitentiary system considerably.”

The goal of Sou da Paz is to contribute to effecting security policies and help contain violence. Among their principles behind their work are democracy, social justice, and human rights.

ABr

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

Brazil’s Supreme Orders Inquiry on Government’s Vote-Buying Scheme

Brazil’s Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal) (STF) has ordered an investigation into whether or ...

Brazil Says Amazon Deforestation Reached 20 Year Low

The president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, announced that deforestation rates in ...

The Whole World Is Mad, But Brazil Has Lost Its Capacity for Indignation

During the military regime, some Brazilians abroad dared to denounce the torture occurring in ...

A Brazilian gas station also selling ethanol

Brazil’s Ethanol Lesson Is How to Manage Our Oil Addiction

The Brazilian government is declaring victory in its decades-long struggle to become self-sufficient in ...

Brazil Sets Up Road Blocks for Argentinean Rice

In an assembly in the city of Santana do Livramento, rice growers from the ...

Brazil Again Threatens to Break Patents of 4 AIDS Drugs

Brazil intends to break the patents of four anti-retroviral medications, if American laboratories are ...

Brazilian Industry Shows Best Growth in Two Years

Industrial activity in the second quarter of 2007 reached the largest level in the ...

Best-seller Books, Plays and Movies

By Brazzil Magazine Alta Sociedade (High Society)—A rich and famous couple has to face ...

Cigarette Kills 200,000 Brazilians a Year

The World Health Organization (WHO) regards smoking as a global health problem and the ...

A Message from Brazil: Americans, Grow Up and Stop Whining!

I’m a USA watcher from way back and, unlike most Brazilians, I actually happen ...