NEW YORK CITY (BDCi) – During the last week of August, riots broke out in four Brazilian prisons, leading to the deaths of eight inmates.
But now the United Nations is calling for reforms to the Brazilian prison system, aiming to crack down on the overcrowding and poor living conditions that turn jails into hotspots for violence and crime.
After reports of prisoner deaths, the South America representative for the UN’s Human Rights Commission said Brazil was due for a review of its criminal policies.
The representative also called for an impartial and speedy investigation, as well as the implementation of new training for prison staff, focused on human rights policies.
Critics say that prisons in Brazil spawn new gang activity rather than help rehabilitate the inmates.
Gangs offer protection, organize family visits and even pay legal fees when prisoners pledge their loyalty to them, and pay a membership fee.
Since Brazil’s criminal code does not include a life sentence or the death penalty, every inmate will, in theory, be released back into the outside world.