Aug 4, 2014

Inmate Governance in Brazilian Prisons

Prisons in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are run not so much by prison guards as inmates. In circumstances of severe overcrowding and acute staff shortage, prisoners are recruited or organise themselves not only to perform clerical and janitorial work, but also to provide for welfare, discipline and security. Such inmate governance is as much a defining feature of Brazilian prison life as inhumane living conditions. In recent years the roles played by inmates in managing the day to day of Brazilian prisons have been largely subsumed by prison gangs. However, staff-inmates relations remain characterised less by conflict and power as accommodation and reciprocity.
The paper, by Sacha Darke, is here

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