RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- A third of the 654,372 prison inmates in Brazil have yet to undergo trial, local news portal G1 reported on Thursday quoting a study by the National Justice Council.
Those inmates are under temporary prison terms until trial or under preventive prison to prevent them from coercing witnesses and destroying evidence.
However, as the Brazilian legal system is notoriously slow, those people can be jailed without trial for years.
According to the study, the time of incarceration without trial varied from 172 to 974 days; the share of inmates under temporary prison terms goes from 15 to 82 percent depending on the state.
Also in the study, 29 percent of the prison inmates were jailed for drug trafficking, ranking first. The second is theft (26 percent), followed by murder (13 percent) and illegal possession of a gun (8 percent).
The study was commissioned to the National Justice Council by Judge Carmen Lucia Rocha, head of Brazil's Supreme Court, after the prison crisis began in January.
There were a number of prison riots in several Brazilian states, which resulted in the death of over 100 inmates. The judge has also asked the courts to take steps to speed up trials.