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Flowing chains: the prisons in São Paulo at the turn of the times.

Grant number: 11/09590-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2011
Effective date (End): February 28, 2015
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology - Urban Sociology
Principal researcher:Vera da Silva Telles
Grantee:Rafael Godoi
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

In this thesis I discuss the contemporary daily functioning of São Paulo penitentiary system, exploring: 1 - the particular processing regime that organizes the convicts flows through confinement spaces; 2 - the penitentiary system expansion in rural areas and the prisons', inmates' and justice system agencies' forms of territorialization; and 3 - the supply system promoting minimal survival conditions within the prisons and the various political and material arrangements that characterizes it. Documental research, qualitative interviews and ethnographic observation were the main research strategies. The field work focused on three towns in the west of the state (in the Nova Alta Paulista region) as well as within some penitentiaries in São Paulo's metropolitan region - where I entered as a catholic volunteer, developing religious, material and legal assistance activities. The central finding of this investigation could be summarized as follows: the everyday operation of São Paulo's prisons depends on a broad mobilization and continuous articulation of a variety of agents located inside and outside the institution, mainly prisoners and their families. These finding launches questions about current and hegemonic prison's figurations, which take, on the one hand, prison and society as total different social worlds and, on the other, as a mere incapacitation device. By an ethnographic approach, I intend to contribute to the contemporary mass incarceration understanding, proposing descriptive and analytical parameters distinct from those that are formulated with reference to the experiences of the United States and Western Europe; I also intend to illuminate something of the basic conditions for the emergence of prison factions, especially the Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC). (AU)

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