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Prisons in the Americas in the Twenty-First Century: A Human Dumping Ground (Security in the Americas in the Twenty-First Century) Hardcover – Illustrated, April 9, 2015

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Editorial Reviews


This book provides a groundbreaking and greatly-needed comparative analysis of prisons in Latin America. Although they are the scene of the region’s most pervasive human rights violations and biggest failure of their criminal justice systems, prisons have long been an overlooked area of study. This book fills a critical gap in the study of justice, rights, and governance in Latin America. -- Mark Ungar

Prisons in the Americas in the Twenty First Century: Human Dumping Ground provides an insightful and in-depth look at the region’s prison crisis, fueled by mano duro, or hardline, approaches to addressing drug and gang issues. Providing a sweeping overview of incarceration in countries across the region, the contributors to this volume document the ways in which excessively harsh laws and disproportionate sentencing policies have led to dramatic levels of overcrowding and inhumane and often violent conditions in prisons which, more often than not, serve as a breeding ground for criminal activity. This book is a must-read for those who want to understand incarceration in the Americas today and for policymakers grappling with the obstacles and opportunities for prison and drug law reform.
-- Coletta A. Youngers, Senior Fellow, The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)

With chilling anecdotes and alarming data the authors highlight the mess that prisons have become in the Americas. Not only have they become a human dumping ground filled with thousands of likely innocent young people, but they have become a key element in the criminal enterprise contributing to crime and violence on the outside from the relative safety of prisons under the control of criminals. The book is a final argument on the failings of the war on drugs and the inefficiency of iron-fisted approaches to crime fighting. Prisons are a reflection of the collapse of the penal justice system in much of the Americas and the cry out for reform. Fortunately, this volume provides us with a good diagnosis of the problem as well as some refreshing ideas about how to fix a broken system. -- Eric L. Olson, Associate Director, Latin American Program, Woodrow Wilson Center

About the Author

Jonathan D. Rosen is research professor at the Institute of International Studies at the Universidad del Mar, Mexico.

Marten Brienen teaches political science at Oklahoma State University.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Lexington Books; Illustrated edition (April 9, 2015)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 258 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0739191357
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0739191354
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.16 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.34 x 0.95 x 9.2 inches

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