Tiago de Castilhos: “Tom & Jerry” complex in prison

The “Tom and Jerry” cartoon is a classic and has moved generations of children over the past few decades. Remember: it’s an animation in which a cat is always chasing a mouse, which in turn does everything to escape the tricks of the cat; they live like that, between attacks and counter-attacks. I identify it as “cat and mouse symbolism”, one chasing and the other running away all the time, but both dependent on each other in this style of chasing and stalking. escape. In case of danger, one helps the other.

the reproduction

In prison, in the relationship between the State (Tom) and the convict (Jerry), in fair proportion and contrary to the metaphor above, he does not help the convalescent, he pursues him. Persecution against the continued use of cell phones in prison is happening. The state “closes its eyes” to this problem because it suits it, which we will explain. Without trying to solve the problem, he constantly pursues the capture of the devices in the prisons, severely punishing those who use them. This is where the hypocrisy lies [1] and the irony of the system is exteriorized, and another right that disappears.

Talking about the rights of prisoners has become something inconceivable for a hypocritical society. How can we talk about the rights of detainees? How can they defend those who commit crimes? In the execution of the sentence too? How is it, the detainees have the preference to be looked after in the SUS? How many times do we hear this? Anyone who hasn’t heard such questions, it’s because they’ve never been in the SUS queue or still appreciate the “willful blindness” theory [2]. Defend the rights of prisoners [3] It is extremely exhausting and requires a lot of patience.

The article points to a problem: can the use of cell phones by prisoners inside the prison be recognized as a form of “access to the outside world”? See that the Criminal Execution Law – LEP (Law No. 7.210/1984) has been flouted by the state itself since its inception. Because it does not respect the minimum catalog of human rights and when we talk about these people we still say: “here are these human rights people”, or the one we often hear: ” human rights for human rights”, as a judge used in a phrase, known as “Marie Claire” [4].

In fact, we are taking action because the state has been imprisoning people for decades and it is only getting worse. Does not meet the least of what is expected of humane treatment [5] and openly, with the silence of the authorities, with the “conformity of the intellectuals” [6]. For example: the State does not respect, from the passive gaze of everyone, what the law determines in terms of the number of people confined to the square meter, article 88 of the law. Inhuman treatment concerns only a part of the people who have never mattered to society.

What determines in LEP the “contact of the prisoner with the outside world” and that is the research problem. It is at this stage that there is the greatest expression of social hypocrisy and therefore where state agents violate one more right, because the prisoner must have respected “access to the outside world” and this is clear in Article 41, point XV [7]. This right is not guaranteed to him, on the contrary, he is persecuted who seeks such contact, just look at the penalty that applies to anyone caught with a mobile phone in prison.

You can ask the reader: but how? Couldn’t there be another way to have contact with the outside world? The way such contact is sought is through the use of smartphone being inconceivable, in the age of technology, in the palm of their hands, to expect the prisoner to use letter writing, hoping that it will be transmitted to his relatives by post, because when the news will arrive at its destination the information would already be old because of the snapshot. Perhaps the state should be more intelligently concerned with identifying who is organizing crime, who is abetting crime, and who is misusing equipment that enters prisons, or even investigating how devices are illegally entering the jails. However, if this illicit trade were regularized, it would cease to exist or decrease circumstantially.

An uncomfortable text by Dani Rudinick and Matheus Oliveira Veeck, as they touch on this right and in the absence of the State opposite, as he prefers to simulate that it does not exist. The article: “on the right to communication and access of detainees to the Internet” [8]. Externalizing an “exposed nerve”[9]which is the lack of state management capacity to solve this problem, the reluctance or willingness to leave everything as it has always been, even against the norm [10]. The worst thing is that he knows that the prisoner has the right to communicate with the outside world, to have contact with people outside the prison, so that his “(re)social integration” takes place. He breaks the law and persecutes those who do good.

Many searches are carried out in prisons looking for drugs, weapons and cell phones. We know that through the abuse of the telephone, delinquency occurs, sometimes organized from inside prisons to take place in the street. How does the state act on the basis of this knowledge? In the failure to blame the prisoner himself, to punish him, that is, he indulges his own turpitude on the pretext that it is cell phones, access at the Internet [11]in prison, who foment crime in the streets. The state wants to make believeand the worst is that he can, that all prisoners, obligatorily, commit new crimes and organized by mobile phones, in prisons, which is known not to be true. There is no scientific evidence of such a “compulsory” sold by the state. Some will commit crimes and some will not, some will go through the system and not come back [12].

The sanction and here the State knows how to use it very well, only after the administrative disciplinary procedure (PAD), to find a serious fault, according to article 50, paragraph VII, of the LEP, for the use of the cellphone. Here is the irony and here is the demonstration that the law eludes the hands of the state, because at the same time that it has the right to communicate with the outside world, it is punished for having made such contact, using the cell phone , regardless of anything, for what purpose. As if this or these people did not have the right to communicate and were responsible for crimes committed outside. The State pushes the convicted person to commit a serious fault for the use of the mobile phone, instead of regulating and preventing criminal contacts through possible technologies.

The sanction is severe, because in addition to the redeemed days, which are lost, the reference date is modified to reach a new time of progression of the plan, including the case law which ratifies such a procedure. Before Law No. 12,433/2011, the redeemed time lost its entirety, which demonstrated an absurd disproportion, also the base date, changing it to the date of approval of the PAD, to seek a new objective requirement. With the aforementioned law, up to a third of the redeemed time is lost. [13].

The question could come: “but how to solve this problem?” Why not regulate? “But to regulate it would be necessary investments?” Yes, investments in the technological field, such as, for example, the use of signal blockers (as it should be in Pecn, in Canoas/RS) and regulation by the Imei number (International Mobile Equipment Identity), also known as “International Mobile Equipment Identity”, usage control.

With investments it could be traced [14] communications instead of preventing them, instead of punishing those who do not commit crimes inside the prison. With regulations, access and cellphone usage issues could be restricted, as mapping contacts, verifying them, who they are making the call to, whether they are from the family nucleus or not from recovery, map social networks. Prior regulation would lead to a decrease in illegal contacts as well as an end to the illegal trade in prison phones. The use of cell phone signal blockers would reduce the possibility of additional contacts and days could be stipulated for their use, just as a suggestion. He prefers to make use of the “theory of willful blindness”, the use of “willful ignorance” without punishment.

The state acts in a hypocritical way, because it knows the detainee’s right to have access to the outside world, it knows that it will not be by written letter in an era of smartphone and real-time news; that this access is part of the prisoner’s progression and reintegration into society. It proves that the state cares not about anyone’s rehabilitation, but about what Garland called “The Strategy of Punitive Segregation.” [15] of these people, of their withdrawal from society through the application of longer and longer sentences and with a greater possibility of permanence.

We know that the problems generated by this lack of regulation and the numerous contacts inside the prisons do not represent the whole of the promotion of delinquency outside the prison, only a part of it [16] and that the State can greatly diminish if it guarantees the right and, if it does not allow it, the control. He prefers to do nothing but punish the part of people who are caught with the equipment, he also doesn’t care how this equipment enters the prisons. [17]he only treats the cause by the effect, whereas he should treat the cause by the elements that he shows us and, thus, solve the problem and guarantee the right instead of disobeying it.


[11] RUDINICK, Dani; VEECK, Matheus Oliveira. On the right to communication and access of detainees to the Internet. Brazilian Journal of Sociology of Law, v. 5, No. 2, May/August. 2018, p. 71 and 72. Access is by using the the Internet which happens easily on cellphones. They must have access to social news so that when they leave the prison system they are prepared for social life. for us it is Utopian to think that this will not happen because the prisoner will not have access to new technologies, to social networks. He is trapped in this physical environment, but virtual reality is not.

[16] RUDINICK, Dani; VEECK, Matheus Oliveira. On the right to communication and access of detainees to the Internet. Brazilian Journal of Sociology of Law, v. 5, No. 2, May/August. 2018, p. 77. This idea, however, does not hold. The prisoner who really wants to “order” or “manage” the execution of a crime, can do it by visits, by correspondence and not by Internet, access to which, it should be emphasized, can be as easily or more easily restricted, intercepted and controlled than other forms of contact with the outside world. (…).”

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