Court suspends Christmas pardon as Brazil’s jail population reaches world’s third highest
13 January 2018
A report issued by Brazil’s Justice Ministry on December 8 reveals that the country’s prison population more than doubled between 2005 and June of 2016, reaching a total of more than 720,000. This figure places Brazil in the infamous position of the world’s third largest incarcerator, despite its having only the fifth largest population. Shockingly, of those imprisoned, 40 percent are being held without any conviction whatsoever.
The country’s prison population in absolute numbers is smaller only than that of the United States, with 2.2 million prisoners, and China—with seven times Brazil’s population—with 1.6 million prisoners. The incarceration rate is also the third highest, at 343 prisoners per 100,000 inhabitants, also behind the US (at 666) and Russia (455). At the same time, the report also reveals that Brazil has the world’s third largest rate of overcrowding, with prisons jammed to 197 percent overcapacity, trailing behind only the fascistic Duterte regime in the Philippines (316 percent) and neighboring Peru (230 percent).
Significantly, the last three years alone have seen 100,000 people thrown into the dungeons created by Brazil’s system of social apartheid.
The unbearable situation created by these conditions exploded once again with a New Year’s Eve prison rebellion in the western state of Goiás that ended with nine dead, including two by decapitation. This has become a veritable holiday tradition, after multiple New Year’s revolts in 2017 and 2014 ended in dozens of deaths and decapitations.
Parallel to prison massacres, Brazilian federal troops have occupied the capitals of four states—Rio Grande do…