With 9% of the world's population and 33% of its homicides, Latin America and the Caribbean suffers from far too much violence. But government responses, heavily focused on punitive practices like mass incarceration, have fallen short. While incarceration has increased by 76% over the last decade, the region as a whole still has more than twice the homicide rate as the world … [Read more...] about Changing Public Attitudes to Combat a Crime Epidemic
If justice is blind in a perfect world, it rarely is so in the real one. Research shows that in the United States, minorities like African-Americans, are more likely to be given harsh bail terms and be incarcerated than whites. Similar prejudices probably exist in Latin America. Rigorous research on the issue is lacking, but it is possible that the low level of trust in the … [Read more...] about Can Algorithms Improve the Criminal Justice System?
When a evening stroll to the corner store or a neighbor's house feels treacherous; when communities feel besieged by burglars, pickpockets, and muggers; it is tempting to call for stricter and more severe jail sentences. Locking up criminals, after all, gets them off the street. It is one reason why there has been a popular drive towards greater incarceration in Latin America … [Read more...] about How Better Ambient and Street Lighting Reduces Crime
When it comes to crime, we are easily swayed by false perceptions and information. We lose our wallet to a pickpocket or hear about a mugging in our generally safe neighborhood and immediately assume that we are in the midst of a crime epidemic. We are pushed to anxiety by politicians who peddle exaggerated homicide statistics to prove they are tough on crime; by the … [Read more...] about When Anti-Crime Strategies Reflect Ignorance Rather than Knowledge
Latin America and the Caribbean is in a punitive mood. The penitentiary population doubled in 17 countries to 1.2 million between 2002 and 2014 as a result of tougher sentencing of criminals and could triple to almost 3.4 million people by 2030. Citizens, meanwhile, demand harsher sentences. In Chile, one of the region's safest countries, a government-sponsored poll released … [Read more...] about Tougher Sentences: The Key to Fighting Crime in Latin America?