Woman Who Got Arrested With Newborn Leaves Penitentiary

Woman Who Got Arrested With Newborn Leaves Penitentiary

Jessica Monteiro, 24, was arrested, gave birth and returned to the two-square-meter cell with her two-day-old son

The young woman who was arrested for drug trafficking and remained with the newborn baby in a cell in the center of São Paulo left the Penitentiary Feminine de Santana, in the north, on Friday night, 16. The release of Jéssica Monteiro , 24, occurred after the habeas corpus petition was accepted by Judge Carlos Bueno of the 10th Criminal Law Chamber. She is going to serve house arrest.

Jessica was detained pregnant a week ago, on Saturday, the 10th, and sent to the jail of the 8th Police District (Brás). She left to give birth in a hospital the next day on Sunday, 11, and  returned two days later with the newborn baby to the same two-square-meter cell. There, she stayed another two days, when she was transferred to the Feminine Penitentiary of Santana, in the north of São Paulo.

In the decision, Bueno asks for the immediate release of the woman arguing that the newborn “needs his effective assistance, which is impossible or difficult to be provided in the prison.” The judge justifies that the release of Jessica, primary reporter, “finds legal, legal and humanitarian support.”

For the lawyer specializing in human rights Ariel de Castro, who follows the case, the ruling rescues “a little of the violated dignity” of Jessica and her newborn son.

“Good judgment and the ideal of justice prevailed. We hope that this precedent can extend to other similar cases. From an emblematic case like hers, we can have significant changes aimed at the realization of human rights and the integral protection of children and adolescents. Any prison establishment is an inhospitable and inadequate environment for the development of children, especially newborns, “says Alves.

According to the lawyer, the woman was in the maternity of the penitentiary with 37 other prisoners also accompanied by their children. In total, there are 450 women in the unit.

According to police, the young woman was arrested with 98 grams of marijuana. On Sunday morning, 11, when she should have gone to custody hearing, Jessica went into labor and was taken to the Ignatius Proenca Hospital in Gouveia, in Mooca, east of the capital, where she gave birth. She is already the mother of a 3 year old.

At the hearing, Jessica’s attorney, Paulo Henrique Guimarães Barbezane, reported that the detainee was hospitalized for labor. Judge Claudio Salvetti D’Angelo decided to keep the detention, converting from prison in flagrante to preventive.

“It is evident that the great amount and diversity of narcotics found supposes to prove to be the verified ones of personality endowed with accentuated dangerousness”, justified D’Angelo. The judge also argues that pre-trial detention is necessary “in order to guarantee public order”.

According to Alves, who accompanies the situation, Jessica is a primary backup. After giving birth, Jessica was escorted back to the 8th DP jail on Tuesday, 13. In the cell, she stayed for two more days with the baby. Only on the afternoon of Wednesday, 14, she was transferred to the female penitentiary.

Alves, who was in the prison in Bras, reported that the cell situation was precarious. Jessica was on a mattress on the floor. According to the lawyer, cops helped by buying diapers and food. On being transferred on Wednesday afternoon, the lawyer said he had spoken to the detainee quickly.

“She was pretty shaken, crying a lot, saying she’s innocent. He said he is not a drug dealer. And, at the time of the transfer, thanked him, “he says. The lawyer said that early next week he will make a report to the Courtroom of the Court requesting the house arrest so that Jessica can respond in freedom.

The Secretariat of Public Security (SSP) and the Penitentiary Administration (SAP) were asked why Jessica was not referred directly to one of the three female penitentiaries with maternity leave in the capital on Saturday and also why the baby stayed in cell with the inmate.

In a statement, the SSP confirmed Jessica’s return to the 8th DP incarceration with the baby 2 days postpartum. “His transfer process was initiated, being completed on Wednesday (14),” the briefing said.

SAP informed that the holder is in the maternal and child pavilion of the Penitentiary Feminine of the Capital and that the place has specialized care for newborns and babies in the period of breastfeeding.

The São Paulo Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP-SP) says in a note that it was in favor of the precautionary prison for having “necessary legal requirements.” The MPSP also stated that the manifestation of the prosecution was upheld by the courts, which ordered the preventive detention, which can be appealed. The body also argues that “there is no legal seal for the preventive custody of a pregnant person and there are proper regulations for the infant to live with his mother, and their execution must be in charge of the Executive Branch.”

According to the agency, “the flagrant was formally in order and the requirements of Articles 312 and 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure were present.” The articles establish that pre-trial detention may be ordered “as a guarantee of the public order of the economic order, for the convenience of criminal instruction, or to ensure the application of criminal law, when there is proof of the existence of the crime and sufficient indication of authorship.”

Even though it does not refer specifically to this case, there is also a general position of the State Public Defender that pregnant women and mothers with children under 12 years of age are entitled to the replacement of preventive custody by domicile. This was established on March 8, 2016 by Law 13,257, known as the Legal Framework for Early Childhood, which amended the Criminal Procedure Code.


Next Tuesday, March 20, is marked the judgment, by the 2nd class of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) of a habeas corpus in favor of all pregnant prey or mothers of children up to 12 years. The Public Defender of the Union wants the women in this situation to be transferred to house arrest. The decision may define the application of the provisions of the Early Childhood Statute, approved in 2006, which amended the rules of the Criminal Code regarding the granting of house arrest in these two situations.

The theme was echoed last year when Adriana Ancelmo, wife of the former governor of Rio de Janeiro, Sérgio Cabral, was remanded in custody by house arrest for having a child who was 12 years old.

Carlos Eduardo Paz, the federal public defender, says he expects the “innovative recognition” of a collective habeas corpus to avoid “dissident and contradictory decisions” by each judge or group and ensure speed of analysis. “Once habeas corpus is recognized, this right becomes unquestionable and situations like this one do not happen again. What is at stake in these cases is the protection of children, “he said.

According to Paz, the case of Jessica and many other women will be presented to the Supreme Court. “We should not hold to the merits of the crime, because it is a matter of human dignity, respect for the rights of the child. We have cases of women who gave birth handcuffed, nursed their babies separated by bars. It’s humanly embarrassing. “

Nathalie Fragoso, a lawyer with the Human Rights Advocacy Group (Cadhu) and one of the petitioners who subscribe to the collective habeas corpus, says that in addition to house arrest, it is also possible to think of other alternative precautionary measures, such as provisional release.

“We need to see that this situation has serious repercussions for children. In this case, the mother experienced the end of gestation, labor, the first contact with the child in degrading situations, “said Nathalie. “And, unfortunately, this is not isolated. It is representative of the Brazilian prison system. 

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