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Strategies of state crime control: dialogue Between Brazil and USA

Grant number: 14/14150-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 09, 2015
Effective date (End): October 08, 2015
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology
Principal Investigator:Jacqueline Sinhoretto
Grantee:Giane Silvestre
Supervisor: Jonathan Simon
Host Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:12/21320-0 - State social control in view of the new organization of the world of crime, BP.DR


This research project proposes an analytical study between Brazil and United States to understand how State's institutions and agents in charge of crime control and criminal justice system were affected by the emergence of new "criminal organizations". In Brazil the particular interest is on how the state agencies of crime control are affected by a criminal gang "First Command of the Capital" (Primeiro Comando da Capital - PCC") and which strategies are used by police officers, Prosecutor's Office and judiciary power to respond to it. Specifically on the State of São Paulo, in the past twenty years, the expressive growth of incarceration rate and increased number of prisons in São Paulo are believed to be connected to the emergence of PCC. In Brazil (as in many other countries) the policies of crime control used by USA are taken as example like the so called "drug war" which has contributed to increasing incarceration rates. Nowadays the USA is has the largest imprisoned population, being responsible for 25 percent of world's incarcerated population. In Brazil, especially on State of São Paulo, the strategies of crime control also produced incarceration, but not just that. During my field research in São Paulo it were identified two main strategies of crime control used by agents. The first strategy is a "militarized combat", based on lethal confrontation and leaded by the Military Police against alleged criminals. The second strategy is the "classic judicial control", which produces both imprisonment of a specific population and low rates of punishment for other crimes/population, especially for homicides and police violence, showing the high selectivity of the penal system. Both strategies are not mutually exclusive but rather complementary. Crime control was studied by some American Sociologist and the contribution to sociological literature is very important to understand strategies of crime control as well as criminal justice system operation. The dialogue with these studies is important for Brazilian researches. (AU)

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