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Punitive Attitudes in Latin America

NCJ Number
European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research Volume: 15 Issue: 1-2 Dated: 2009 Pages: 121-136
Cesar Fortete; Jose Daniel Cesano
Date Published
16 pages
This study analyzed the punitive attitudes on crime, the criminal system, and punitive response of the state in Latin America.
Findings reveal that when compared to Western Europe, in Latin America there is widespread mistrust and critical attitude regarding the criminal system and the punitive attitudes regarding crime. The study analyzed two aspects related to the resurgence of punitivism in Latin America and Argentina: the first, is the perception that the population has regarding some aspects related to the phenomenon of crime, the criminal system, and the punitive response that the state should give; and the second, is the legislative reception in Latin America and the phenomenon of criminal expansion as a response from the state to the social demand for a more serious punitive response. The role of the mass media is also examined as it represents the most important link that provides feedback between social demands and state activity regarding subjective perceptions on criminality and the construction of a state with greater punitive reaction. Possible strategies are discussed. References