Luis B. García 28/01/2021
Image of the independence leaders imprisoned in Lledoners in November 2018
The treatment boards of prisons where the prisoners of the “procés” are imprisoned proposed again the third degree for the leaders after the previous one was revoked in early December by the Supreme Court. The new proposal should be ratified in a period of two months by the Department of Justice of Catalan Government, but it has only taken 14 days. The regional ministry led by the Republican Ester Capella has given the go-ahead to that third degree and the inmates will be able to leave prison this Friday, ready to begin the electoral campaign that begins in Catalonia.
The independence leaders imprisoned in the Lledoners, Puig de les Basses and Barcelona women’s prisons, where Dolors Bassa and Carme Forcadell are held, will be able to go free during the day and participate in the electoral campaign, if the 14F elections are maintained. But in the case of the former president of the Parliament, the Secretary of Penals Measures has not spoken and therefore she will not receive the third degree for the moment because she is confined by an outbreak of coronavirus.
Reports highlight maximum inmate collaboration, absence of incidents, and commitment to assigned tasks
In a statement from the Secretary of Penals Measures, Reintegration and Care of the Victim, the ratification of third degree is justified 14 days after the proposal was raised is “enough time for the confirmation of a positive evolution”, and recalls that all the prisoners ” have had access to the life regime “allowed by article 100.2 of the prison regulations, as well as to an incipient third degree (later revoked)” without incidents, with full commitment to the task entrusted and with a positive assessment, both for the process of socio-labor reintegration as well as for the maintenance of the family bond ”.
Classification service also recalls that third degree is a form of compliance provided by the regulation “which in no case implies any emptying of any sentence”. And it defends that the participation of inmates in “activities of reasoning, critical judgment and conflict resolution”; its “maximum collaboration, both with the rest of the inmates and with the professionals of the penitentiary facilities”, and “the absence of judicial breaches and disciplinary proceedings”.
The reports highlight that “in all cases, there is a favorable social and family network for rehabilitation, together with a prognosis of low risk of recidivism”
In addition, resolutions that grant the degree progress to the prisoners also take into account that, “in all cases, there is a favorable social and family network for rehabilitation, together with a prognosis of low risk of recidivism.”
In this way, Classification Service recalls that in addition to the years of sentence, other factors must be taken into account for grade progression, such as the behavior and level of adaptation of the prisoners to the penitentiary, the conditions of their social and family network, the capacity for social and labor reintegration, whether or not they have a criminal record, the risk of recidivism and the time spent in prison.
Concession can be appealed again but Penal Measures claims the professionalism of treatment boards.
Classification also draws on legal arguments when recalling that the third degree is a form of compliance provided by article 102.4 of the Penitentiary Regulations; that article 72.4 of the General Penitentiary Organic Law (LOGP) prevents prison services from keeping any inmate at a lower grade when they deserve a progression due to the evolution of their treatment. And he also cites articles 72.4 and 59.1 of the Penance Law (LOGP) and article 25.2 of the Constitution, “which warn of the danger that restrictive treatments violate the rehabilitative and social reintegration purpose of criminal sentences.”
The note recalls that the decisions of the supervisory courts can be appealed, in the last instance, before the sentencing court, which, in this case, is the Supreme Court, but claims the professionalism of the treatment boards, made up of “jurists, psychologists, workers and social educators, doctors and teachers ”who“ study and evaluate the reports of the professionals of prison modules who are in daily contact with the inmates ”.
Prisoners have been in prison for more than three years and four of them have already served a quarter of their sentence, the rest will do so from February 11
Decision can still be appealed, like the previous one, by the Prosecutor’s Office, but Penal Measures, Reintegration and Attention to the Victim secretary defended the new penitentiary regime, highlighting that the prisoners have been in prison for more than 1,000 days, three years, and that four of them have already served a quarter of their sentence (Quim Forn, Jordi Cuixart, Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Turull), and others will do so from February 11.
The judicial and administrative fight for the concession of the third degree to the prisoners of the ‘procés’ will probably not end here, but the Regional Ministry considers that now, unlike when the first concession was revoked by the Supreme Court for considering it “premature”, there are reasons that sustain it.
As explained by the secretary of Penal Measures, Amand Calderó, the Supreme Court alleged that most of the inmates had not served a quarter of their sentence, but now they are about to do so. In addition, “there is a longer period of observation, six months have passed and for this reason the fact that the granting of the third degree is not premature”, justified the secretary.
But even so, the treatment boards did not reach unanimity for the granting of the third degree of all prisoners, and it was only reached for the cases of Dolors Bassa, Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, while for the rest, the decision was by majority and received votes against.