Penitentiary Institutions, dependent on the Ministry of the Interior, has granted Juana Rivas the semi-release regime that will allow her to serve the approximately nine months that remain of her sentence at home with telematic control. As EL PAÍS has learned, the Treatment Board – a body made up of prison professionals – agreed last Wednesday, within the biannual reviews of the prison regime for all inmates, to extend the open regime as of next Wednesday, December 22 which Juana Rivas already enjoyed at the Center for Social Insertion (CIS, where semi-released inmates serve their sentences) in Granada. For this, it has been decided to apply article 86.4 of the prison regulations, which provides for the installation of a telematic control device (a bracelet or anklet) to the convict, as detailed to this newspaper prison sources.
In this way, from the moment the bracelet is placed on, the woman will continue to serve the sentence without having to go to the prison to sleep on any day. Of course, from Monday to Thursday you will have to stay in the home that you have set as your address between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. the next morning. On weekends you will not have to meet this temporary requirement. Prisons sometimes do not have enough bracelets. If that were the case on December 22nd and there wasn’t one for Rivas, then he’d have to sleep Monday through Thursday at the CIS until he gets it.
This will not, however, be the only control measure that has been imposed on it. Penitentiary Institutions have established the obligation to go once a week to the CIS of Granada, to meet with social workers and, in addition, it prohibits him from leaving the city of Granada without permission. It must also be reachable 24 hours a day on a mobile phone that will have to be always on. Finally, the prison services will make a monthly control of their work activity.
Carlos Arangüez, Rivas’s lawyer, issued a statement Wednesday morning explaining that his client would leave the CIS daily, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and two weekends a month. In his note, the lawyer explained that they are “very grateful” for the response of the Center’s Treatment Board because this will allow Rivas “in addition to going to work, to see his children this Christmas.” The Cagliari (Italy) court that judges the guardianship and custody of the children – now in the hands of Francesco Arcuri, Rivas’ ex-partner – has allowed the children to spend a large part of the next vacation in Spain with their mother.
Rivas was sentenced in July 2018 to five years in prison and six years of loss of parental authority over her two children for two crimes of child abduction, in a sentence ratified by the Provincial Court and modified by the Supreme Court. This body considered that there was a single crime and reduced the penalty to two and a half years in prison, maintaining the loss of parental authority. In November, the government partially pardoned – as indicated in a report by the Supreme Court – and returned parental authority to Rivas, in addition to reducing the prison sentence to 15 months. Given that sentence of less than two years, and considering that the necessary requirements were fulfilled according to Rivas’s lawyer, he requested his release. On Friday, December 10, Judge Piñar issued an order that has been especially controversial due to the reasoning used and that left the woman without enjoying complete freedom.
On Wednesday, the Rivas team of lawyers announced the presentation of the appeal, as a matter of urgency, as indicated, to get the Provincial Court to rule as soon as possible. The lawyers are based on the idea that “the suspension of the sentence is a discretionary act, but not arbitrary” as they consider that Piñar’s order has been. For them, the judge bases his refusal to freedom on “three false reasons, absolutely invented,” according to Arangüez. These are an alleged lack of repentance, the reiteration of Rivas’ criminal conduct in Italy and, finally, what the lawyer considers “cruel and reckless”, affirming that a son of Rivas has been sexually abused. To the contrary, the lawyers they believe that “all the legal requirements to grant the suspension are met and there are also circumstances that advise granting this benefit”:
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