Brazil Announces Walls and Personnel Boost in Federal Prisons Following Escape

Minister Lewandowski said he will work on modernizing the prison video surveillance system and access control with facial recognition


In his first crisis leading the Justice and Public Security sector of the Lula government (PT), Minister Ricardo Lewandowski attributed the escape of two inmates from the federal prison in Mossoró, Rio Grande do Norte, to a "series of negative coincidences" that, according to him, do not compromise prison security.

BRASÍLIA, DF, BRASIL 15-02-2024: The Minister of Justice and Public Security, Ricardo Lewandowski, during a press conference to discuss the measures taken by the government regarding the escape of two inmates from a Federal penitentiary in Mossoró (RN). (Foto: Pedro Ladeira/folhapress, PODER) - Folhapress

On Thursday (15), more than 24 hours after the episode became public, he listed monitoring and prison construction failures, detailed the sequence of the escape, and announced stricter measures for controlling prison units.

"We will expand the alarm system and sensors in the five federal prison units and request the appointment of 80 prison officers already approved in a competition to reinforce the federal prison system," announced Lewandowski in an interview in Brasília.

The minister said he will work on modernizing the prison video surveillance system and improving access control to federal prisons with facial recognition system for inmates, visitors, and administrators. Additionally, he stated that walls will be built around all federal prisons. The minister emphasized, however, that some of the measures require bidding processes and therefore may take months to be implemented.

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