Free motherhood

2017 - 2018
What kind of project was:
Strategic litigation, legal assistance, research and communication
Fundo Brasil de Direitos Humanos
Defensoria Pública de São Paulo, Espaço Itaú de Cinema Augusta, Forward: images that move, ITTC (Instituto Terra, Trabalho e Cidadania) e Secretaria de Administração Penitenciária de São Paulo

Promote the rights and defend the relationship between mothers and children up to 12 years old outside prison

The Free Motherhood project addresses two main problems: the increase in the number of women incarcerated and the justice system’s disdain for the mother and child bond. Even after the approval of the Legal Framework for Early Childhood (in Portuguese, Marco Legal da Primeira Infância), in 2016, and the granting of collective habeas corpus in the benefit of pregnant women and mothers of children up to 12 years of age, in 2018, the Brazilian Justice continues to resist on complying the law, which prioritizes the interaction between the mothers and their children.

Based on the voluntary work of its associated lawyers, the IDDD filed for habeas corpus for women at the Pirajuí Women’s Penitentiary between 2017 and 2018. During the prison task force, a survey was also carried out, where 196 women were asked questions regarding the subject of motherhood in prison. It resulted in the “Free Motherhood: the invisible motherhood in the justice system” report, published in 2019.

The project also gave birth to the “Free Motherhood” documentary, in partnership with the film production company Forward, showing stories of families that went through the maternal incarceration experience.

Learn more about the project.

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