690.9 Preventive custody and social exclusion

Saturday, August 4, 2012: 11:57 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Mariana CHIES SANTOS , Sociology, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre, Brazil
Rodrigo AZEVEDO , Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), Brazil
Over the last few years, a massive increase of incarceration as a mechanism of social control and segregation have been spotted in a great number of countries. In Brazil, one of the reasons that led to an enlargement of the imprisonment rates in the last decade is the increasing use of preventive detention. This can be attributed to a number of reasons: low income of defendants, the scarce capacity of elucidating crimes and the very slow judicial system. The present work is the partial result of an ongoing research that focuses on the analysis of judicial sentences delivered by the Courts of Appeal of the southern region of Brazil (RS, SC and PR). The justifications presented by these judges when they confirm the decision of the court of first instance to maintain the segregation are identified. The data presented in the second report of the second National Justice System Meeting, conducted in early 2009, found that up to December 2008 42% of the Brazilian prison population consisted of preventive custody prisoners. Based on such statistics and through the analysis of those decisions, this study aims to verify different ways of interpreting the law. Moreover the arguments that legitimate those decisions and how much the social and economic profile of the defendant and of the crime practiced influences on determining the preventive custody are analyzed.