“Short anti-racist guide” is one of the literary works in a project validated for sentence remission
The 5th Criminal Chamber of the Paraná Court of Justice upheld a decision that validated a reading circle project for the purposes of sentence remission. In the case, a detainee got 12 days off for reading and discussing the song “Diário de um detento” (Diary of an inmate”), by Racionais MC’s, the book “Pequeno Manual Antirracista” (“Short anti-racist guide”), by Djamila Ribeiro, and the article “Carta de Paulo Freire aos Professores” (“Letter from Paulo Freire to Teachers”).
The initial request, made by the Public Defender’s Office of Paraná, highlighted the “Reading circle project for remission of sentence through social educational practice in a unit of deprivation of liberty”, by Unialfa – Faculdade Alfa Umuarama, in which people deprived of their liberty take part in monthly reading circles with the aim of remission of sentence.
According to the Public Defender’s Office, a request for sentence remission was sent to the execution court on behalf of one of the participants in the conversation circles. In the document, public defender Pedro Bruzzi asked for 12 days off for reading the three books.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office of the state of Paraná then objected to the request, but the court granted four days remission for each book read, totaling 12 days remission.
On the argument that reading an article, a book or the lyrics of a song would not be enough to grant remission of sentence, the Paraná Public Prosecutor’s Office requested that the decision be suspended.
At this point, the man hired a private lawyer, who confronted the arguments of the state public prosecutor’s office, reinforcing the Public Defender’s request to enforce the right to days off.
When analyzing the case, the judge Maria José de Toledo Marcondes Teixeira, the rapporteur, pointed out that the Superior Court of Justice has already ruled that it is perfectly acceptable to redeem time for reading books, based on the ‘in bonam partem’ interpretation of article 126 of the Penal Execution Law.
The magistrate also pointed out a resolution by the National Council of Justice that regulates complementary activities to study, for the resocialization of the sentence, including remission for reading.
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