Digital criminal justice: how technology brings security and speed to the Brazilian system
Criminal justice in Brazil faces many challenges, as crime is growing and the prisons are packed. The volume of processes in criminal justice causes them to be delayed for years and, for that reason, makes the judicial delay an aggravating factor in the prison system. In 2017, there were 80 million processes in progress and the number of prisoners reached 726,000, making it the third country with the largest prison population in the world.
The system generates a much greater amount of work than the magistrates and technicians are capable of processing, mainly in the courts and institutions that do not have the digital process (which still only work on paper), as well as bureaucratisation and lack of control of processes and information. This results in slow and non-transparent justice.
Thus, an important challenge is to generate control and communication of clear and quick information to the criminal justice system and to obtain the exchange of information between the institutions. It is important that the magistrate knows the prisoner’s record, that the prison servers control and execute the decisions of the courts and that all of this is exchanged between the executive and judicial branches.
Softplan – one of the largest software companies in Brazil that develops business and public management software – has brought the digital process to a large part of the country’s institutions, including solutions for the management of criminal execution, such as offences’ monitoring, the control of filing prisoners who are under house arrest and the exchange of information between judicial institutions.
The exchange of information between institutions, the automation of repetitive tasks, the monitoring of tasks and workflows and artificial intelligence help us to bring technology to judicial systems and save time, improving the lives of all the people involved.
The project National Base of Prison Monitoring (NBPM), an initiative of the National Justice Council (NJC), had the objective of accurately determining the amount of imprisoned people in Brazil. The challenge was to integrate the JAS (Justice Automation System) into the system developed by the National Justice Council, with the aim of guaranteeing that the information entered by the JAS is automatically transmitted to the NBPM, without the court official having to perform the task of recording information in two different systems, that is, exchanging information quickly, securely and digitally.
Likewise, the Monitoring of Criminal Offences is a computerised control that generates the record of the entire history of the prisoner’s life since entering the prison system.
Management via a technological solution provides clear information and easy access for magistrates and prison system leaders, such as, for example, the number of times one was imprisoned, the state of their current situation and the amount of time left until their release. This logical and optimised control, following a timeline of events, ensures that errors in the recording of the sentence or in the release of a prisoner who has served his prison sentence are reduced.
Jorge Cury graduated in Computer Science from the Minas Gerais Foundation for Education and Culture and in Civil Engineering from the Federal University of Minas Gerais. He also holds a postgraduate degree in Project Management from the Mineira Foundation for Education and Culture. He has strong experience in the software industry with an emphasis on ERP and specialised projects for the Public Sector. At Softplan he acts as Commercial Manager for the justice market, responsible for the Commercial and New Business areas.