Inauguration of Unidades de Polícia Pacificadora (UPP) base in favela Borel. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Rebuilding the social fabric in places of violenceProgram on Poverty and Governance Project
This project studies ways to rebuild the social fabric in places where society does not trust law enforcement and other state institutions. How can we reform these institutions so that they can simultaneously guarantee peace and foster human rights?
The case that we are currently analyzing is the Unidades de Polícia Pacificadora (UPP) program that started in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and is expanding to other Brazilian cities. The UPP approach of community policing is changing the relationship between favela populations and the police, and between the population and the drug cartels that had controlled these poor communities for decades. Although this is not Rio's first attempt at community policing in favelas, this program is run by the State Department of Public Safety and has the support of all three levels of government. It has reached unprecedented levels of success since its inception in 2008.
An important change that has occurred with the UPP program is police reform. The officers that work at UPP bases in favela communities receive different recruitment and training, and are awarded bonuses based on their unit's performance. The program's focus on community policing is leading a cultural transformation in Rio's police academies. This research project seeks to understand these changes and what has contributed to the UPP program's success so far, as well as draw lessons for other countries facing similar problems of urban and drug-related violence.
- Changing Relationships Between Police and Society: What Inspiring Experiences in Rio de Janeiro, Medellín and the United States Can Teach Mexico
Stephanie Gimenez Stahlberg, Beatriz Magaloni
CDDRL Program on Poverty and Governance, Policy Brief No. 1 (2011)