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Pregnant Women and Mothers of Children of Up to 12 Years of Age to Be Placed on House Arrest

02/21/2018 - 11h54

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LETÍCIA CASADO
NATÁLIA CANCIAN
FROM BRASÍLIA

The second panel of the STF (Brazilian Federal Supreme Court) decided, on Tuesday (20), that pregnant women and mothers of children of up to 12 years of age under preventive detention may be placed on house arrest.

The decision includes adolescents and mothers of children with disabilities.

After the decision is published, courts will have to comply with the STF's order within 60 days, applicable to at least 4,500 women. The figure represents up to 10% of all women arrested in the country. The decision does not affect inmates found guilty by Courts.

The Brazilian Criminal Code determines that judges "may" determine house arrest instead of preventive detention when a woman is pregnant or has a child of up to 12 years of age, among other cases.

Now, justices have determined this needs to become a rule, not an exception. The exception will be applied to violent crimes or serious threats, against their children "or, also, highly exceptional situations." Judges will be required to provide grounds for denial and inform the Supreme Court of their decision.

Judges have also determined that the presidents of state and federal courts should report, within 30 days, any arrests of pregnant women and mothers of young children.

The poor conditions of Brazilian prisons and the fact that 30% of such women are still under preventive detention, that is, they have not been tried and have not been convicted yet, are some of the reasons to grant house arrest to all women.

Translated by ANA BEATRIZ DEMARIA

Read the article in the original language

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