IRRC No. 907/908/909
The prevention of torture in Rio de Janeiro: A study on the role of public defenders
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The attorneys of the Public Defender’s Office of the State of Rio de Janeiro (PDORJ) are heavily present in the penitentiary system of Rio de Janeiro, individually meeting the vast majority of detainees and conducting monitoring visits. This article presents the work of the PDORJ in the prison system, focusing on its role in the prevention of torture. Based on semi-structured interviews with public defenders, the article explains the paradox between the extensive presence of the PDORJ in the prison system and the few instances of torture that are officially reported. It also presents recommendations aimed at better identifying and responding to accounts of torture.