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NCJ Number: 200027 Find in a Library
Title: Cruel Confinement: Abuses Against Detained Children in Northern Brazil
Corporate Author: Human Rights Watch
United States of America
Date Published: April 2003
Page Count: 51
Sponsoring Agency: Human Rights Watch
New York, NY 10118-3299
Sale Source: Human Rights Watch
350 Fifth Avenue
34th Floor
New York, NY 10118-3299
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This document discusses a study on the abuse of children in northern Brazil by the police and in detention centers.
Abstract: Human Rights Watch visited 17 detention facilities in 5 states in Brazil during a 4-week period in April and May 2002. The facilities included seven that were just for sentenced youths, one for youths sentenced to the lesser sanction of “semiliberty,” one non-residential facility for youths sentenced to probation, and four pretrial detention centers. The remaining five facilities were four girls’ detention centers, and one that held youth under sentence as well as those in pretrial detention. The study found beatings at the hands of police during and after arrest, which was a common occurrence. These abuses often occurred at police stations where Brazilian law allows children to be held for up to 5 days while they await transfer to a juvenile detention facility. Once they are transferred to detention centers, the children must often endure further violence from State military police that are responsible for the external security of detention centers and routinely conduct cell searches. Children also suffer violence at the hands of other youths. Children are routinely confined to their cells for 5 days or more with no opportunity for exercises or other activity. Cell confinement is used as the primary formal disciplinary measure. The distinction between confinement for observation and disciplinary confinement is often blurred. Cell confinement can have a serious adverse effect on a child’s emotional well being, particularly when confined for lengthy periods of time. Children in most detention centers spend some part of each day in their cells, usually before or after meals. These “lockdown” periods may last for several hours. Girls do not generally receive recreational opportunities on par with those afforded to boys. Children are usually able to see visitors for 2 hours or more during 1 or 2 days each week. The majority of youth in detention have completed between 1 and 4 years of primary education. Youth reported that they were able to see medical staff upon request. Most detention centers fail to investigate complaints of abuses.
Main Term(s): Brazil; Juvenile detention
Index Term(s): Crimes against children; Detention; Human rights violations; Juvenile processing; Juveniles in adult facilities; Psychological victimization effects
Note: Human Rights Watch, Vol. 15, No. 1 (B)
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