b'PORTUGALRmulo MateusDirector-General of Reintegration and Prison Services, Portugal Director general de Reinsercin y Servicios Penitenciarios, PortugalChallenges and priorities for the Portuguese prison system. And the ongoing transformation despite COVID-19 Desafos y prioridades del sistema penitenciario portugus. Y la transformacin en curso a pesar de la COVID-19JT: What have been the central priorities since you took office at theJT: Cules han sido las principales prioridades desde que asumi su Directorate-General for Reintegration and Prison Services (DGRSP)? cargo hace dos aos en la Direccin General de Reinsercin y Servicios Penitenciarios (DGRSP)?RM: I took office in February 2019 with a well-defined mission and some innovative ideas to be accomplished within a short period. However, nearlyRM: Entr en funciones en febrero de 2019 con una carta de misin bien all our energies had to be directed towards protecting the people we weredefinida y con algunas ideas innovadoras para cumplir a corto plazo, sin responsible for in response to the pandemic threat.embargo, casi todas nuestras energas tuvieron que orientarse a proteger We manage a very sensitive system overseeing so many different people,a las personas que estaban bajo nuestra responsabilidad, ante la amenaza including prisoners, the criminally insane, young people, and citizensde la pandemia. serving community sentences; for this reason, we were inevitably goingTenemos un sistema muy sensible, con muchas personas, todas diferentes, to suffer the impact of the pandemic crisis.bajo nuestra responsabilidad, incluidos reclusos, inimputables, menores Nonetheless, we managed to start some projects, with the main prioritiesy ciudadanos que cumplen condenas y medidas en la comunidad. being the reform of prison facilities, digital modernisation, juvenile justice,Naturalmente habramos tenido que sufrir el impacto de la crisis and prisoners mental health. We are also dealing with the scarcity andde la pandemia. Aun as, pudimos empezar algunos proyectos, y las ageing of human resources, common in other public entities.principales prioridades se establecieron en el mbito de la reforma de In addition to these myriad challenges, several incidents made the newslos establecimientos penitenciarios del pas, de la modernizacin digital, linked to prisoners illicit use of mobile phones when I took office.de la justicia juvenil y de la salud mental de los reclusos. Adems, nos Therefore, we had to undergo a critical examination of the communicationsenfrentamos a la escasez y al envejecimiento de los recursos humanos, we allowed inmates, and we concluded that the model of one telephonealgo que es comn a otros organismos pblicos. call per day for five minutes was obsolete and did not satisfy prisonersEn esta mirada de desafos, cuando empec a desempear mi cargo, needs to maintain socio-affective ties.tuvieron lugar varios incidentes que aparecieron en los medios de We looked at models that had been adopted abroad, where telephonecomunicacin, vinculados a la utilizacin ilcita de telfonos mviles communicationsmaintaining the necessary precautionsare liberalised,por parte de los reclusos. Por lo tanto, tuvimos que hacer un examen with telephones installed inside the cells. So, we began a pilot experiment,crtico de las comunicaciones que permitamos a los reclusos. Llegamos installing telephones in the cells of certain prison facilities. An initiala la conclusin de que el modelo de una llamada telefnica al da, durante concern was the instinctive objection from the community, so this issuecinco minutos, era obsoleto y no se corresponda con las necesidades required considerable time investment and debate with responsiblede mantener los vnculos socioafectivos de los reclusos. Nos fijamos en authorities, the community and any interested stakeholders.los modelos ya adoptados en el extranjero, donde las comunicaciones At the same time, we are very concerned with the not too rationaltelefnicasmanteniendo las precauciones necesariasestn liberalizadas distribution of prison facilities in the national territory, inheriting a legacyy con telfonos instalados dentro de las celdas. of disparate realities that are not always mutually compatible.As, iniciamos una experiencia piloto, instalando telfonos en las celdas We have several small prisonsthe so-called district jailsthat do notde algunos establecimientos penitenciarios. Una primera preocupacin provide the system with much efficiency, and therefore we tried to lookfue la objecin instintiva de la comunidad, por lo que este tema exigi at a new model for managing these establishments.bastante inversin de tiempo, as como el debate con la tutela, con la We had the idea of creating, as a pilot experience, a jail where there werecomunidad y otras partes interesadas. only prisoners under an open regime, and we began to take steps to launchAl mismo tiempo, nos preocupa mucho la distribucin poco racional de this reform as well. los establecimientos penitenciarios del pas, que es la herencia de varias We also had to take a leap of modernity in juvenile justice because it hasrealidades muy heterogneas y a veces poco compatibles. Tenemos una serie inherited a model that was inadequate, very repressive, and restrictive ofde pequeos establecimientos penitenciarioslas denominadas crceles rights and the idea of approximating community life, which must governcomarcalesque otorgan poca racionalidad al sistema y, por lo tanto, life in educational centres.intentamos buscar un nuevo modelo de gestin de estos establecimientos. At the same time, we had received strong reprimands from internationalSe nos ocurri la idea de crear, como experiencia piloto, una crcel donde organisations regarding mental health treatment for the criminally insane insolo hubiese reclusos en rgimen abierto y comenzamos a tomar medidas our custody. At this level, we had to reinvent ourselves to achieve significantpara poner en marcha tambin esta reforma.improvements in the living conditions that we provide these citizens. Tambin en la justicia juvenil tuvimos que dar un salto para modernizarnos So, we had to work on several fronts, address various priorities, and changeporque heredamos un modelo inadecuado, muy represivo y restrictivo de paradigms. Those were times of hope and commitment until suddenlyderechos y de la idea de acercamiento a la vida comunitaria, que debe COVID-19 reared its head in our country. aplicarse a la vida en los centros educativos. Semester / Semestre 12021JUSTICE TRENDS // 6 7'