Public Security and Police Reform in the Americas

by John Bailey,

The events of September 11, 2001, combined with a pattern of increased crime and violence in the 1980s and mid-1990s in the Americas, has crystallized the need to reform government policies and police procedures to combat these threats.  Public Security and Police Reform in the Americas examines the problems of security and how they are addressed in Latin America and the United States.  Bailey and Dammert detail the wide variation in police tactics and efforts by individual nations to assess their effectiveness and ethical accountability.  Policies on this issue can take the form of authoritarianism, which threatens the democratic process itself, or can, instead, work to “demilitarize” the police force. Bailey and Dammert argue that although attempts to apply generic models such as the successful “zero tolerance” created in the United States to the emerging democracies of Latin America—where institutional and economic instabilities exist—may be inappropriate, it is both possible and profitable to consider these issues from a common framework across national boundaries.  Public Security and Police Reform in the Americas lays the foundation for a greater understanding of policies between nations by examining their successes and failures and opens a dialogue about the common goal of public security.
  • University of Pittsburgh Press; December 2005
  • ISBN 9780822972945
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: Public Security and Police Reform in the Americas
  • Author: John Bailey (ed.); Lucia Dammert (ed.)
  • Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press

About The Author

John Bailey is professor of government and director of the Mexico Project at the Center for Latin American Studies at Georgetown University.  He is the author of Governing Mexico: The Statecraft of Crisis Management.
Lucía Dammert is coordinator of program security and citizenship, Latin American Faculty of Social Science (FLACSO-Chile) in Santiago, Chile.