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URVIO Revista Latinoamericana de Estudios de Seguridad

On-line version ISSN 1390-4299Print version ISSN 1390-3691


BEDOYA URENA, Jesús. Controversies for the Penitentiary Administration in Costa Rica in the Context of Hyper-Incarceration. URVIO [online]. 2019, n.24, pp.78-97. ISSN 1390-4299.

The last thirty years in Costa Rica had been marked by an important contradiction in the aspect of justice administration. Even though the axiological bases of the Ministry of Justice and Peace -institution in charge of the prisons in the country- were raised in the human rights normative and the progressive penalty system, these values have been systematically contradicted due to the emphatic punitive legislation, which has caused the country to stand out in the last years among the five Latin American countries with the higher rate of imprisonment. This notable paradox propitiated a broad debate. Between 2015 and 2018, some measures were implemented to mitigate the condition of hyper-incarceration, like the extraordinary transfers to the semi-institutional (or semi open) model. Such measures were perceived by the public opinion from a moral panic reaction and a vindication of the punishment. This paper recovers that controversy, as a field of analysis suggestive of complex aspects such as the very conception of the State, punishment and justice.

Keywords : administration of justice; Government policy; political institutions; prisons; rights of prisoners.

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