Discourses of Exclusion: Analysis of Compensation for Degrading Situation in the Brazilian Penal System

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 08:30
Oral Presentation
Carolina LEAL, University of Coimbra, Portugal
According to the national survey of penitentiary information (infopen), produced by the Ministry of Justice and released in 2016, there are 622,202 prisoners in Brazil. However, the number of places available did not match the demand. There are 371,884 vacancies and a deficit of 250,318, with an occupancy rate of prisoners that exceeds 167%.

In addition to overcrowding, Brazilian prison areas are known for their poor maintenance conditions. They are fetid places, with sanitation, hygiene and structure problems, making the scenario more complex. In bad conditions, are added the reports of prisoners on mistreatment, torture, and compliance with rules stipulated by criminal factions, true 'owners' of the prisons.

It is in this complex scenario that the Supreme Court of Justice (STF), in February 2017, gave cause to an inmate who applied for financial compensation for moral damages because his incarceration situation was considered degrading.

Therefore, this article - as a result of a postdoctoral project - intends, through the Critical Discourse Analysis (Fairclough 2001, 2005), to examine the first sentences handed down in favor of the prisoners, identifying the juridical, social and moral elements present in the stipulation of indemnities. Another objective of the article is to observe how the actors, especially judges and adjudicators, relate to the categories of human dignity and degrading situation, dialoguing with the theoretical contribution of authors such as Boaventura de Sousa Santos (1999) and David Garland (1998).