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

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 this approach has not been effective in lowering levels of violence, some governments are ready to take a different path.

Guatemala Authorities Reveal New Details in Byron Lima Murder Case

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 prisons. The new revelations suggest that there may have been more than one motive for the murder.

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

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 has learned in its decades-long fight against drug-related violence, and how those lessons fit into the global context.

Mexico Government Prisons Study Glosses Over Riots, Abuse

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 sidesteps some of the most glaring problems plaguing the country's penal institutions.

Sentenced Without Conviction: A Tale of Pretrial Detention in 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. Over three years later, and Reinhart is neither a free man nor a convicted criminal, instead he is one of tens of thousands of inmates in Colombian prisons trapped in the legal limbo of pretrial detention.

This series of case studies and policy reports explores how government policies, mismanagement, neglect and corruption have made the jails in the region powerful incubators of organized crime.

This series of case studies and policy reports explores how government policies, mismanagement, neglect and corruption have made the jails in the region powerful incubators of organized crime.