|Volume No. 1 Issue No. 25 - Monday, July 29, 2002
|Dominican in Crime Reduction Efforts in Brazil
University of Chicago Graduate Heads to Brazil With Unique Insights to Fighting Crime
by: Elizabeth C. Adrien
born sociologist and criminologist, Dr. Peter K. B. St. Jean, has been commissioned under a subcontract of the Brazilian Government, to provide special assistance towards the reduction of violent and predatory crimes in Brazil, especially in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
IPSOS Latin America sought Dr. St. Jean's assistance after director, Dr. Clifford Young, learned of the cutting edge research that Dr. St. Jean has conducted and assisted with in the US, Canada, Japan, and Dominica.
Although Dr. St. Jean's research achievements are broad based, IPSOS has particular interest in what is being considered his unique multi-method approach to understanding and reducing urban crimes, especially violent and predatory crimes.
His initial two-week visit to Brazil will include exploratory research, and several presentations of his unique approach to researchers and policy makers at the Center for Violence, and Center for the Study of the City at the University of Sao Paulo; the Center for Crime Analysis at the Federal University of Minas Gerais; the Brazilian Secretary of Public Safety; senior police officials; and the Center for Crime Studies, Rio de Janeiro.
This research exploration is the beginning of long-term project through which
Dr. St. Jean is expected to lead pathways towards practical crime reduction efforts in Brazil, especially in its largest cities.
Some people view crime in Brazil as part of a larger conspiracy against political parties by traditional conservative forces, the mafias who thrive on political corruption, or an alliance of the two. Dr. St. Jean points out:
As most persons may already know, Brazil is one of the world's leaders in violent and predatory crimes. The problems in that country, as in many others, are complexly intertwined with economic, social, and political dynamics. I am excited to see what the research efforts will unravel, and use this information in ways that can make hopeful pathways towards the reductions in the crimes in question.
This is not an easy task, but I am open and prepared to learn, teach, advise, and evaluate. Each country and every community needs remedies that are specific to the sorts of problems they face.
However, one will find many similarities across countries and communities. The task is to find the idiosyncratic dynamics, and design practical and tangible pathways to improvements in quality of life in general and crime reduction, in particular.
In a country where robberies at traffic lights are routine and kidnappers are claiming victims in the middle class, it is a shrill warning that the violent explosion has gone too far, Dr. St. Jean adds:
My research projects in Grand Bay, Dominica, and the South Side of Chicago, have prepared me to understand the sort of neighborhoods and communities of most concern in Brazil cities. I look forward to the comparisons and designing of workable solutions.
Dr. Peter K. B. St. Jean upon his graduation from the University of Chicago took up a teaching assignment as Associate Professor with SUNY Buffalo, New York.