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Prisons and Politics in Contemporary Latin America

Mark Ungar
Human Rights Quarterly
Vol. 25, No. 4 (Nov., 2003), pp. 909-934
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20069699
Page Count: 26
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Prisons and Politics in Contemporary Latin America
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Abstract

Despite democratization throughout Latin America, massive human rights abuses continue in the region's prisons. Conditions have become so bad that most governments have begun to enact improvements, including new criminal codes and facility decongestion. However, once in place, these reforms are undermined by chaotic criminal justice systems, poor policy administration, and rising crime rates leading to greater detention powers for the police. After describing current prison conditions in Latin America and the principal reforms to address them, this article explains how political and administrative limitations hinder the range of agencies and officials responsible for implementing those changes.

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