The law, the norm and the criminal code: the multiplicity of sources of punishment in Brazilian Prisons

Camila Nunes Dias, Professor of Sociology at UFABC, Brazil


Camila Nunes Dias is a sociologist who conducts research on the field of punishment, focusing on prisons, and on organized crime, illicit markets and criminal dynamics.

She is a Professor of Sociology at UFABC, Brazil.


From the indicated texts, we will discuss the multiple forms of punishment that are present in the daily life of Brazilian prisons, which come from different sources of the power to punish that pervade the “micropenalities” of the execution of the prison sentence:

1- Legal, which involves the assumption of the Judiciary;

2 – Normative, derived from the autonomy of the Executive and passes through administrative decisions of the prison staff;

3 – Criminal Code, related to the “ethics of crime” that derives from the prison population itself and that conforms a morality in relation to which behaviors are monitored, evaluated and punished within the living spaces of Brazilian prisons.

Her main publications in English include Dias, C.C.N., Salla, F. and Alvarez, M. C. (2022) ‘Governance and Legitimacy in Brazilian Prisons: From Solidarity Committees to the Primeiro Comando Da Capital (PCC) in São Paulo’, In: Maximo Sozzo (Ed), Prisons, Inmates and Governance in Latin America (Palgrave Macmillan); and Butler, M., Dias, C.C.N. and Slade, G. (2018) ‘Self-Governing Prisons: the Emergence of Prison Gangs in an International Perspective’, Trends in Organized Crime, 25, 4: 446-452

This online event is part of the Social Analysis of Penality across Boundaries Workshop Series organised by Professor Richard Sparks, Scottish Centre for Crime & Justice Research, and Professor Máximo Sozzo, Universidad Nacional del Litoral in Argentina.

Photo Credit: UnSplash/Nayani Teixeira