Crime and punishment in Brazil under the spotlight

Friday, 6 January 2017

Crime and punishment in Brazil will be under the spotlight at a special event being hosted by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies later this month.

On 25 January, Leandro Ayres França, of the Universidade Estácio Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, will be talking about how the war on drugs and the criminalisation of poverty have fuelled organised crime and created a chaotic prison situation.

His talk comes at a time of growing crisis in the Brazilian prison system. 

A prison riot in the Brazilian city of Manaus last week left at least 60 people dead. There were reports of decapitated bodies being thrown over prison walls.

A further riot in a prison in Boa Vista has reportedly left over 30 prisoners dead.

The Brazilian newspaper the Folha de S. Paulo claims that the Brazilian government is planning to cut federal funding to repair and modernise the prison estate by 85 per cent.

Our Director, Richard Garside, said:

Brazil's prisons are in a grim state, and are getting worse. Whatever the immediate cause of the recent riots, they are the long-term legacy of failed tough-on-crime policies and the hopelessness they have bred.

I'm delighted that Leandro Ayres França is able to join us to talk about this important issue and to discuss what solutions might look like.