Las prisiones en la "Nueva Argentina": Reforma penitenciaria, representacione...

Las prisiones en la "Nueva Argentina": Reforma penitenciaria, representacione...

Instituto de Ciencias

Las prisiones en la "Nueva Argentina": Reforma penitenciaria, representaciones del castigo y usos politicos de las carceles en el peronismo clasico (1946-1955)

The prisons in the “New Argentina”: The penitentiary reform, representations of punisment and the political purposes of the penintentiary system during the peronist period (1946-1955)
This thesis analyzes the penitentiary reform and the representations of punishment and prisoners that state officials envisioned during the first and the second presidencies of Juan Perón (1946-1955). First of all, it examines the origins of the penitentiary reform, in particular the policies undertaken by the Conservative governments during 1930 and 1943 in order to shed light to the continuities and changes that existed between these administrations and the Peronist regime. Then, it explores in detail the penitentiary reform by looking at Roberto Pettinato´s career -the leading official during the Peronist administration in this matter- and by reconstructing the role of technical bureaucracy in the planning of the reform and the professionalization of state officials required to implement it. In addition, it pays attention to the celebrations that were organized tohonor and publicize the new penitentiary system. In third place, to approach to the meanings that the peronist government attributed to the new penitentiary system, this study analyzes official photographs of the national prisons. They allow to comprehend the significance of these public representations that were beyond discourses as well as to capture the diversity of mechanisms used by the Peronist regime to make propaganda of this reform. Lastly, the thesis considers how prisons came to serve the government’s political goals and looks at the public complaints of political prisoners to demonstrate that the new penitentiary system was also used to discipline political dissidents.
The thesis examines a corpus of documents comprised by a diversity of primary sources: annual reports from the Ministry of Justice, publications edited by state officials from the penitentiary system, parliamentary debates, national legislation, academic journals, books and studies written by members of the governments, national newspapers and periodicals from different political parties as well as pictures taken and published by official institutions.

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