Editor’s Note: This article is part of a new series on prison conditions and criminal justice policy around the world.
Sixty-two people are dead following a riot at a prison in northern Brazil earlier this week. Fifty-eight inmates were killed when a fight broke out between rival gangs at a prison in Altamira, in Para state, including 16 who were beheaded. Four more inmates were murdered while being transferred to a different facility. In an email interview with WPR, Robert Muggah, co-founder and research director at the Igarape Institute in Rio de Janeiro, explains why deadly prison riots are so common in Brazil and why President Jair Bolsonaro’s pledges to crack down on violent crime will probably only make the problem worse.
World Politics Review: What are the main drivers of violence in Brazil’s prisons?