National Penitentiary Attorney of Argentina (NPA) is a self-dependent governmental agency that promotes and attempts to protect people deprived of liberty’s human rights, for any reason, under the federal justice scope. That includes police stations, court prisons and any type of building where imprisoned people from federal justice can be placed, even pretrial detainees and convicted prisoners that may be allocated in provincial establishments (article 1º law 25.875). NPA’s tasks and assignment have been strengthened after its designation as a part of the National Committee to Prevent Torture and Local Preventive Mechanism under the Federal Penitentiary Agency (articles 11, 32 y 36 “a” law 26.827).
The statistical bulletin or fact sheet means a very useful tool for the transmission of information and data about many of the principal structural characteristics of the Argentinian prisons system, mainly those issues that are specially addressed by the NPA’s work.
The available results show a very important and sensible information about the inner dynamic and practices of enclosing places that depends on the Federal Penitentiary Agency. This way, result as an efficient manner of dissemination for the labor and work that NPA produces so it will be published periodically with updated results. As the remarkable advantages of this format, can be pointed out some elements:
Accuracy of the information
The information displayed on the NPA’s statistics bulletins is a result of a hard and detailed work within both primary and secondary sources. In most of the issues that are the priority lines of work for the organization, the specific displays and strategic interventions are systematized. On the other hand, the information sent by the penitentiary agency about the management of life in prison, is cleaned up, consolidate and standardized. Moreover, these data allow the reconstruction of institutional ways and manners of the official management, as they bring the formal proceedings and recordings that they use.
Its concise character
With the aim of making easier and faster the lecture and disclosure, the bulletin gather quantitative information illustrated in descriptive charts. Because of its consistent format, the analysis joined is just a briefly help to put in context the data exposed.
Digital and interactive support
There is a lack of circulation and production of information about prisons and its effects, mainly because of the difficult and complicated access to the enclosure institutions’ data. The digital support of the bulletins means a great development to disseminate information and it’s also interactive, what makes it easier and accessible to read. Although, it can be printed in paper format.
Accessible and approachable manner
With the purpose of making notable the practices and characteristics of life in prison, it turns urgent to install these issues in the social debate and the public agenda.
In the same way, to reach a closer comprehension of this local phenomenon, it is better to be aware of other contexts and its reciprocal impact. That is why in order to enable the international dialogue, the bulletins are available also in Spanish and Portuguese. The movement and circulation of this data means a modest contribution to global and critical knowledge around prisons and its inner function, from a respectful perspective of human rights.
Considering the difficulty and complicated access to prisons’ data, it’s necessary to remark the actual challenge that involves the production of information about imprisonment. There are many obstacles to collecting, monitoring and generate results of the institutional practices that occurs indoors, especially the most violent ones.
For this reason it’s suggested to make a reading of the data being aware of the “unrecorded crime”, the unavoidable number without registration that assumes any study about enclosure institutions and its mainly aspects such as death in custody, solitary confinement and isolation, physical and another types of violence.
This publication includes not only quantitative information, but is also complemented with a qualitative section that let make a more complex interpretation with the reconstruction of voices and stories in some paradigmatic cases. That allows a larger analysis of the situation in federal prisons.
This bulletin is a result of the work of the NPA’s Statistics and Databases Team, created by the Penitentiary Procurator in 2014 (Res. Nº 87/14) and that functions inside the Federal Prisons Observatory. Within its primary responsibilities is the production of quantitative information from the systematization of several interventions of the organization and the development of data about some issues related to the indoors’ life and the information sent by other agencies of the criminal justice bureau.
Making sense with Open Government’s guidelines, since 2014 this organization joined to the principles of open data policies and promotion of the disclosure of the information. Besides, the databases produced are available in Spanish at the official web page, in the “NPA’s Public Data”
. Any person interested in contacting with the NPA can write to the institutional email direction: email@example.com, in order to make any comments, suggestions, inquires or even to apply any suitable information.
PPN Statical Bulletin N° 3 (Second Trimester 2016)
PPN Statical Bulletin N° 4 (Third Trimester 2016)
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