Arresting less and punishing crime adequately: crucial ways to combat violence in Latin America


Statistics indicate that the greater number of people being placed behind bars, the greater the rate of violence in our continent. In order to reverse this scenario, it is essential to transform the society’s view about crime, prison and recovery of convicts. However, how can we shift this paradigm? This was the central issue in discussion at the panel organized by the Humanitas360 Institute, bringing together morethan 20 professionals, researchers and social organizations in Brazil and Argentina. 

H360’s proposition to participants was to initiate the collective construction of solutions through an ongoing dialogue, exchange of materials and experiences while seeking synergies among projects being developed by partners. The tools for this process include Ashoka’s concept of paradigm shift, Theory U, created by Otto Scharmer at MIT, and Design Thinking practices disseminated by IDEO. 

The success of this initial panel discussion got summarized in former Ministry of Justice José Gregori’s words, “The event today has served for us to analyze the issue. We need to continue this in the next seminar, in which we get back together with all this content we’ve shared in order to advance with more ideas from a practical and legislative perspective.”

In addition to the former minister, researchers, professionals that work in different areas of the penitentiary system, researchers, ex-convicts, journalists and important NGOs that work in this field such as the Institute for the Defense of Defending Rights (IDDD in Portuguese), the Igarapé Institute, the Action for Peace Institute, and the Espartanos Institute from Argentina participated at the event.

It is important to note that the IDDD and Igarapé are part of the Criminal Justice Network, that created the campaign “Mass Incarceration Is Not Justice.” This campaign is an example of initiatives that goes in the direction towards the paradigm shift that H360 is proposing and should be promoted by all partners that took part in this first conversation.

On this page, you can find a video that summarizes the main thoughts shared at the panel discussion as well as a clip of each participant with their full contribution. If you work with topics related to prison systems and combating violence, and wish to be a part of this process, FILL OUT THIS FORM and a member of our team will get in touch with you.


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