Saturday, August 4, 2012: 12:54 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
The prison system of the State of São Paulo currently has about 170,000 inmates under custody, one third of the Brazilian prison population. In order to tackle the growth of crime the state government has been making investments for the expansion of the capacity of the prison network as well as in the modernization of the surveillance equipment. Nevertheless, serious problems of social control and respect for the rights of the prisoner remain untouched, such as overpopulation, inadequate infrastructure, lack of services for the education, professionalization, social and legal assistance of inmates, as well as the hardening of the internal discipline to deal with the rebellions. Paradoxically, these policies contributed to the emergence of the Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC), a group that, in less than a decade, articulated the inner world of prisons with external networks of support, located in popular neighborhoods. It was this intense communication between the inside and outside of the prisons that enabled the attacks in May 2006, that paralyzed the city of São Paulo and resulted in 436 deaths. This event suggests a series of changes that the prison system of the State of São Paulo is going through under the domain of PCC: changes in the profile of the prison population, use of technologies such as cell phones, development of urban economy in the surroundings of the prisons, relations between prisoners, families and life in neighborhoods. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the increase of the articulation between the internal world of prisons and the free society in order to check which new questions are being posed in the field of sociology of prisons, rethinking hypotheses that assume a rupture between these two worlds, as suggested by the concepts of Clemmer (prison culture), Sykes (society of captives) and Goffmann (total institution).