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Print version ISSN 0103-4979


BIRKBECK, Christopher Howard. Prisons and internment: a comparison of penal facilities in North America and Latin America. Cad. CRH [online]. 2010, vol.23, n.58, pp.129-149. ISSN 0103-4979.

The recent use of expressions such as "warehouse prison" in the U.S. and "concentration camp" in Latin America would seem to indicate that conditions of deprivation of freedom in both regions look more and more alike. The analysis presented here suggests that it is not so. Penal institutions in North and South America throughout six interrelated dimensions are compared: internal organization of the places, surveillance, isolation, supervision, administrative control and formalization of procedures. In North America, control is deep (persistent, intrusive and almost permanent); in Latin America, control is shallow (sporadic, indifferent and superficial). If in North America one speaks of prisons and incarceration, in Latin America it seems better to speak of judicial inmates and internment.

Keywords : prison; internment; North America; Latin America.

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