Criminalizing communities of poor, dark women in the Caribbean: The fight against crime through Puerto Rico's public housing

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Abstract

In the year 1993, Mano Dura Contra el Crimen [Hard Hand against Crime] was implemented in Puerto Rico with the purposes of fighting crime in the island. Exclusively targeting public housing projects, this policy included a range of environmental interventions. This article questions the policy's targeting mechanism by analyzing whether public housing communities in Puerto Rico were indeed presenting higher criminal activity than other sectors of the island. This article then examines the race, class and gender profile of the public housing communities and examines how the Mano Dura policies served to solidify a profile of public housing communities that was not consistent with the real demographic profile of these communities. This article argues that the policies led to the increased stigmatization and isolation of public housing communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-73
Number of pages21
JournalCrime Prevention and Community Safety
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Law
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Safety Research

Keywords

  • Caribbean
  • crime policy
  • gender
  • poverty
  • public housing
  • race

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