Luis Carlos Valois | LEAP | Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

About Luis Carlos Valois

Judge, State Court of Amazonas
Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil

"The drug war policy is presented as something natural - war should never be seen as natural."

Luis Carlos Valois
Judge Luis Carlos Valois has been a judge in penal courts for 20 years. Currently, he is the judge responsible for corrections in Amazonas, Brazil's largest state. Since beginning his career at the age of 25, Luis Carlos has felt the grief of the irrational war on drugs. The overcrowded Brazilian prison system is clear proof of this irrationality, with more than fifty percent of all arrests being drug-related and the majority of prisoners being poor, sentenced after a weak defense, and then imprisoned in a state institution where drugs run rampant.

The prison system also provokes death. As a judge, Luis Carlos bears witness to the death and destruction caused by drug prohibition: people die in prison, burned, hanged, shot. He does not believe in prison as an instrument to bring any good to society, but the overcrowding caused by the war on drugs in Brazil makes things even worse, and is the main cause of prison deaths.

Luis Carlos holds a Masters degree in penal law from the University of São Paulo, where he defended a dissertation on the "Conflict between the ideal of rehabilitation and the principle of legality," in which he demonstrated how the criminal justice system imprisons people, often disrespecting several fundamental rights of citizens.

Today, Luis Carlos works as the coordinator of the Amazonas School for the Judiciary. His primary concern is the education and enlightenment of the new judges. They come from law schools in which the drug war policy is presented as something natural – Luis Carlos believes war should never be seen as something natural.

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