In-Depth: Bolsonaro Targets Deadly Gangs Run From Brazil’s Prisons

Like Porto Alegre's Central prison, the vast majority of Brazil's jails are run by financially stretched state governments, often with patchy results. Overcrowded cell blocks are policed by underpaid guards and deadly riots are common.

By Gabriel Stargardter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Before Brazilian prosecutors could conduct an inspection last year of the prison considered the country's worst, its warden had to clear their visit with the jail's de facto authorities: in-house prison gangs.

As Brazil's incarcerated population has surged eight-fold in three decades to around 750,000 inmates, the world's third-highest tally, its prison gangs have come to wield vast power . . .

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