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FELIZZOLA, Aura Helena Peñas  and  SOARES, Gláucio Ary Dillon. Penal Reforms in Colombia (1830-1940): Political Ideologies, Power Organization, and Social Values. Dados [online]. 2020, vol.63, n.2, e20180151.  Epub June 22, 2020. ISSN 1678-4588.

This article analyzes the qualitative and quantitative trends in formal punishment in Colombia in four of the penal codes approved between 1830 and 1940. The aim is to explore the explanatory power of social theories about the punishments prescribed by the laws, namely: a) Durkheim’s, which attributes the greater severity of punishments to the predominance of mechanical solidarity and the greater concentration of political power; b) the Marxist, based on the conception of criminal law as the ideology of the ruling class; and c) those of Merton and Elias, who highlight the connection between the severity of the punishments prescribed by the law and the actual violence. It is concluded that the penal system seeks to impose ideas of social order that are configured mainly through politics but also suffer moral, religious and economic influences.

Keywords : sociology of criminal law; penal reform; penal policy; criminal policy; criminology.

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