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A new prison in Costa Rica

Crisis in the Prisons: Five Guidelines When Reforming the Penal System

The high and growing rate of imprisonment in the region is not leading to lower rates of violence and crime. In other words, we know that prisons are not the...

The Prison Dilemma in the Americas

This series of five case studies and one policy report explores how government mismanagement, neglect and corruption have made the jails in the...
Jarvis Chimenes Pavão with Paraguay anti-drug police

Brazil Crime Boss Sold ‘Tons’ of Drugs from Paraguay Prison

Brazil authorities have reportedly dismantled an international drug trafficking network that purchased tons of drugs from a Brazilian crime boss jailed in Paraguay,...
A faction of Brazil's PCC protests against the transfer of their leaders in 2001

Brazil’s PCC Planning Anniversary Attacks on Govt Officials: Report

A new report says that Brazil's largest and most powerful criminal organization is planning a spate of attacks against government officials to mark...
Kids behind bars in Brazil

Jails Help Turn Kids into Criminals. In Belize, There’s a Better Way.

In recent years, heavy-handed strategies and mass incarceration have been the preferred tactics used by many politicians in the region. Now, facing evidence that...
Late Byron Lima in handcuffs

Guatemala Authorities Reveal New Details in Byron Lima Murder Case

Authorities in Guatemala have made several arrests and revealed previously-unknown details regarding the slaying of Byron Lima, the one-time "king" of the country's...
Opuim poppy fields in Afghanistan

Weekly InSight: Drugs and Security, Latin America’s Lessons for the World

In our August 3 Facebook Live session, Senior Editor Mike LaSusa spoke with Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Vanda Felbab-Brown about the lessons Latin America...
Prisoners outside Topo Chico prison in Monterrey, Mexico,

Mexico Government Prisons Study Glosses Over Riots, Abuse

A new government study of Mexico's prison system paints a relatively favorable portrait of penitentiary conditions -- at least in a regional context. But it also...
El Pedregal Prison, Medellín, Colombia

Sentenced Without Conviction: A Tale of Pretrial Detention in Colombia

On April 3, 2014, a dozen plainclothes police officers crashed through the door of Norbert Reinhart's Medellín apartment brandishing an arrest warrant for murder....
Camp Street prison destroyed during riot

Guyana Prison Riot, Fire Create Major Security Headache

A massive prison riot that occurred in Guyana's capital this past weekend could have serious ramifications on the country's overall security situation, while also...
Relatives of inmates outside Las Cruces prison in Acapulco

Mexico Prison Deaths Show Endemic Problems, Criminal Conflicts

A violent outbreak between rival gangs in a Mexico prison in the embattled state of Guerrero that left dozens of inmates dead reflects the fight for the local...
Gang members guarded by policemen outside El Salvador prison

Report Underscores Crime Reduction, Abuse by El Salvador Govt

A recent report by El Salvador's ombudsman credits the government's new security measures with reducing crime, but condemns their adverse impact on prisoners'...