Cape Verde Law Firm | Carla Monteiro & Associados - Cape Verdean Prison System: Intimate and Family Visits

Carla Monteiro

Friday, 29 Sep 2023

Cape Verdean Prison System: Intimate and Family Visits

One of the basic principles of a democratic rule of law is the principle of human dignity, which, in addition to being one of the constitutionally enshrined principles in the Constitution of the Republic of Cape Verde, is considered a pillar for the social reintegration of prisoners.

Thus, based on this principle, the inmate’s right to maintain communication with the outside world was stipulated, especially with family, spouses, friends, thus enabling their readaptation in the social world.

According to article 333 and ss of the Code of Execution of Penal Penalties, prisoners are entitled to receive regular visits.

Visits from family, acquaintances and friends

Acquaintances, friends and, above all, family have a huge influence on inmates, with visiting days providing support for inmates to withstand the adversities of prison and engage in the search for a new horizon.

However, visits cannot be carried out freely and without any type of control, they are subject to rules that must be obeyed so as not to endanger the prisoner and his staff.

First of all, visits to the prisoner are carried out in a specific place, under the necessary surveillance, proportionate and adequate to satisfy the requirement of order and security.

Before the visit meets the prisoner, the administration of the prison establishment proceeds to identify him and consults the prisoner about his availability to receive him.

When security reasons so determine, priority should be given to contactless visits.

At the request of the visitor and when the contactless visit regime is not mandatory or possible, the visit may alternatively be dependent on carrying out a search of the things they are carrying, as well as their person.

Visitors are searched in a respectful manner, and stripping is prohibited, unless there are well-founded suspicions that the visitor is carrying objects whose possession is considered irregular or for the purpose of using them inside the prison or transmitting them. to the inmates.

Visits by prisoners cannot be for a total duration of less than one hour a day or more than four hours a week.

Children under 16 who are not children or siblings of the prisoner are not allowed to visit, accompanied by adults, as well as persons who endanger the security and order of that establishment, or who may reasonably hinder the social reintegration of the prisoner.

The inmate’s contact with the family to which he belongs should not be prohibited.

Furthermore, a woman prisoner can never be prohibited from contacting her minor children.

The visits of the spouse or person with whom the prisoner lives in a similar situation to that of the spouse cannot be prohibited.

Visits can only be monitored and their conversations controlled in exceptional cases. In case of violation of the rules provided for in this law, visits may be interrupted.

Cape Verde Law Firm | Carla Monteiro & Associados - Cape Verdean Prison System: Intimate and Family Visits

Of intimate visits

The intimate visit given to the inmate stems from a need of human nature itself, as one cannot deny the impulses of the sexual instinct that are present in a person.

In addition, intimate views prevent, to a certain extent, sexual distortions and perversions within prison, reduce tension and aggressiveness, control needs and favor psychological balance among inmates in order to stimulate discipline within prisons.

Within this path, article 337 of the diploma in question guarantees all inmates the right to a intimate visit, at least once a month, in a reserved environment, if the prison facility has the conditions for this.

Intimate visits, however, are only allowed to the inmate’s spouse or a person with whom they live in a similar situation, or in a stable affective relationship for over a year.

Intimate visits are generally discouraged and prohibited for minors.

Thus, it is to be concluded that prisons, in addition to protecting society from an individual who has not been able to outline his life by certain rules, promote his social reintegration.

And in this process of reinserting the individual into society, family, friends, acquaintances, spouses, visits in general that the prisoner may receive, play a very important role.

Therefore, it is important that inmates maintain the ties, the relationships they have with people and with the outside world, since only then will they be prepared and have weapons to outline their life without committing crime and being a socially responsible individual.

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