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NCJ Number: 99448 Find in a Library
Title: Justice and the Control of Crime in the Sandinista Popular Revolution
Journal: Crime and Social Justice  Issue:23  Dated:(1985)  Pages:5-28
Author(s): V Nunez de Escorcia
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 24
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article summarizes the justice system implemented by the Sandinista Popular Revolution in Nicaragua and then uses official data from the Sandinista Police dating from 1979 to demonstrate a decline in crime.
Abstract: The paper describes the problems faced by the new government in reestablishing a judicial system, including the absence of any experienced judges and the occupation of many towns by 'los muchachos' of the Popular Sandinista Army who were armed and had been dispensing local justice. It then outlines the tiers of the new judicial organization: a Supreme Court, 7 courts of appeal, 39 district justices, and 152 local justices who deal only with small claims cases. Also discussed are the responsibilities of a revolutionary judge to guarantee the preeminence of the revolution's judicial principles and to determine whether a regulation predating the revolution is compatible with these doctrines. Under the Somoza dictatorship, there were no reliable statistics on crime or prison populations. The first police organization of the revolution was formed in September 1979, and reporting of criminal activity did not begin until 1980. During 1980, 38,781 crimes were reported. Crime decreased, but remained high in 1981. In 1982, however, only 10,439 criminal acts were recorded, reflecting a 54-percent reduction compared with the previous year. The decline was much less for crimes against persons than for property crimes. The author attributes this decline to several factors including land reform, increased access to basic goods, decline in unemployment, and a reorganization of the penal justice system. Tables and charts are provided.
Index Term(s): Crime in foreign countries; Crime rate studies; Criminal justice system analysis; Nicaragua; Socialism
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