Brazil fact of the day

In Brazil, they segregate their prisons according to gang membership.
No exceptions. Not even for individuals who in fact are not members of
any gang.

How does that work?  Easy.  Upon being admitted to the prison system, unaffiliated prisoners are required to join a gang.

Here is more, from Amanda Taub.  Here is her blog.  Here is another new economics blog, on models and agents.

Comments

"Requirements in some places to identify with one gang faction facilitates the growth of gang-identification, and gang related activity."

This also happens in Guatemala.

I would be tend to believe it is common to all Latinamerican countries -at least central american countries- where persists a youngsters affilliation to gangs and a lot of deportations from the United States.

I may be wrong, but I suspect the actual practice is asking new inmates who are not members of gangs to choose with which gang they want to be locked up. This may be reasonable, since gangs tend to "own" neighborhoods, and it may not be good policy to be with members of gangs from different neighbourhoods.

I am just guessing, though.

What I want to know is if they've witnessed any evidence of sub-gang differentiation within the larger gangs.

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