After confirmation of new cases of covid-19 in the Federal District Women’s Penitentiary (PFDF), the Court suspended a series of activities in the unit for a period of 14 days. Family visits, classes at the Teaching Center, face-to-face consultations with lawyers, conduct to face-to-face hearings are some of the suspended activities.
According to the Secretariat of State for Penitentiary Administration (Seape), there are currently 47 inmates and a police officer diagnosed with coronavirus, and the health status of the inmates is considered normal, with no need for hospitalization.
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Seape informed that, “in compliance with the protocols adopted to contain the disease in the prison system”, the inmates who tested positive for covid-19 were isolated and remain in quarantine. Since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 89 other cases have been registered in the PFDF.
President of the Commission for the Defense of Human Rights, Citizenship, Ethics and Parliamentary Decorum of the Federal District’s Legislative Chamber, Deputy Fábio Félix (PSol), said that since the beginning of the pandemic, the Commission has been monitoring the situation of covid in prisons.
“Our first concern was the application of Recommendation 62 of the National Council of Justice to accelerate the progression of the regime and guarantee house arrest for those arrested for crimes considered to be minor. Unfortunately, this recommendation was timidly applied by the local judiciary and the solution applied was to increase the confinement of prisoners”, he pointed out.
The Deputy points out that, until recently, prisoners with comorbidities were prevented from receiving face-to-face visits for over a year and a half, which aggravates mental health problems and hinders the process of re-socialization of inmates.
“The long period without face-to-face visits has also increased our concern about the recurrent practice of torture in the prison system and some emblematic cases have been identified,” he says.
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In Félix’s assessment, the Federal District Government’s role in combating covid in prisons “was far short of what it could have been. Even today, there are effective measures that can be taken, such as the distribution of masks that are more suitable for inmates, prison officers and visitors”, he highlights.
In order to reinforce the current sanitary security measures in the Women’s Penitentiary, the deputy defends the mass testing of inmates and the improvement of the visit mechanism to ensure greater control over the spread of the virus.
Seape stressed that the prison population of the Women’s Penitentiary, as well as other prisons in the DF, is completely immunized with a single-dose vaccine.
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Source: Federal District BdF
Edition: Flávia Quirino