Overcrowding prison system in Brazil
São Paulo - Overcrowding is one of the biggest problems in the Brazilian prison system. Rights group have cited this problem as the cause of many of the brutal riots in Brazilian prisons and report that it has now reached "inhumane levels". In 1992, subhuman conditions led to the biggest uprising by prisoners in the history of Brazil's penitentiary system. To quell the revolt, a special squad of the military police known as the "Batalhão de Choque" entered into the Carandiru prison in São Paulo, killing 102 unarmed inmates. To date, no one has been arrested or held accountable for this massacre. Following these killings, inmates Aparecido da Silva, José Márcio Felício (nicknamed Geleião or "Marmalade") and José Eduardo Moura da Silva founded the "Primeiro Comando da Capital" (PCC), the largest illegal organization controlling activities within the prisons as well as crime outside of them in the state of São Paulo. With the aim of bringing attention to the inhumane conditions of the penitentiaries of São Paulo state, the PCC in 2006 was responsible for the massive uprising that resulted in attacks on police stations banks and public offices throughout the city of São Paulo. While conditions for prisoners have not improved, repression within the system has increased. The Brazilian Penitentiary Archdioceses and the National Human Rights Movement denounced in past years to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights the numerous cases of torture, abuse and mistreatment of prisoners endemic in the Brazilian prison system. Maltreatment and impossible living conditions have led to innumerable prison wardens being reported for human rights abuses in the report.
On the basis of a survey fielded by the National Penitentiary Department (Depen) of the Ministry of Justice, the Legislative Committee of Investigation (CPI) of the Jail System denounces in its report that 130,000 prisoners are imprisoned improperly throughout the country. This number represents 30% of the total Brazilian jail population estimated at 440,000. This is a 146% increase -- according to a census carried out in 1996 -- while the total population of the state increased by a mere 17.6% in this period. In other words, the jail population increased eight times more than the total population.This situation resulted in aggravating a social crisis within the country, increased reduction of workers' income, causing more than two decades of economic stagnation that effects the entire nation.
Prison census show that nearly 45 percent of prisoners have not been sentenced, and poor recordkeeping means many are incarcerated beyond their terms. Amnesty International has documented this crisis, detailing the extreme overcrowding, deaths in custody, the systematic use of torture, and lack of medical and sanitation facilities. The situation is further compounded by the use of under-trained and under-paid prison staff, unable to deal with high level of gang warfare and regular riots.
Actually the Pcc is not any more prison organization only, it is involved in others illegal activities as drug and weapon dealing with others organizations as the Comando Vermelho (Cv) of Rio de Janeiro. The PCC and the Cv have increased their international presence, acting in countries as Bolivia, Paraguay and, “possibly”, Portugal. The affirmation is of the annual report of the Department of State of U.S.A (2009). that traces a panel of the situation of the drugs in the world. According to text, also grows the linkings of the PCC and the CV with Columbian and Mexican dealers. The income of the contribution in would help them to the exterior to buy weapons and to keep the control of slum quarters in cities as Rio and São Paulo.