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Abstract

The purpose of this monographic work is to show how the enactment of a Bill in Brazil, the Bill
8.072/1990, or Bill of the Hideous Crimes, contributed to the exponential growth of inmates in
prisons throughout Brazil, to the emergence of gangs like PCC in Sao Paolo and CV in Rio de
Janeiro, and to the growth of the rebellions in the Brazilian prisons.

It also intends to show the deleterious effects of the original draft of that bill, according to which
those sent to prison for having, for instance, kidnapped or raped someone (both of them hideous
crimes, according to the Brazilian legislation) would not be allowed to progress from a harsh
regime to a less severe regime. The problem is that the dispositive in the hideous crime bill that
prohibited that progression affronted the Brazilian Constitution, sparking heated debate and great
controversy amongst lawyers, magistrates, academics and the lower and higher courts. It also
draws on the conclusion that this jurisprudential controversy amongst the courts in Brazil
signaled that, even in the Supreme Court, there was no unanimity about the matter of not
allowing inmates convicted by a hideous crime to progress for a less severe regime for good
behavior, for instance. That controversy was only solved in 2007, with the enactment of the Bill
11.464, which allowed the progression of regime for all those convicted by a hideous crime.

It also shows that it was from 1990 to 2007, due to the original draft of the Hideous Crime Bill
that, in many respects, there was not only an exponential growth in the population in Brazilian
prisons, but also a growth in rebellions throughout the country, as well as the emergence of the
criminal gangs in SP and Rio. It also notes that that bill was in essence authoritarian, since it
clearly infringed the Constitution of Brazil and besides that the Courts, higher and lower, opted
for keeping it running and having its effects in the penalization of the illiterates and the poor –
those who get jailed in Brazil. Thus, the Bill of the Hideous Crime helped to penalize even more
the already penalized poor and marginalized in Brazil, leaving unsolved the problem of rampant
corruption and impunity in the country, the main causes of violence in Brazil.

Key Words: Brazilian Prison System, Crimes Hediondos, Lei dos Crimes Hediondos, Lei
8.072/90. Hideous Crime Bill, Organized Crime, Penalization of the poor, Inequalities,
Corruption, Impunity