Deschutes Public Library News
Prisions in Contemporary Latin America
Posted By: Liz Goodrich
Date Posted: 4/20/2006
As part of the Deschutes Public Library’s A Novel Idea … Read Together, University of Oregon Associate Professor of History, Carlos Aguirre presents a program titled “Prisons in Contemporary Latin America,” on Saturday, April 22 at 3:00 p.m.. at the Bend Public Library. The presentation is part of the Novel Idea … Read Together, community-reading project offered by Deschutes Public Library and the Deschutes Public Library Foundation. The program is free and open to the public and is sponsored in part by the Friends of the Bend Library.
According to Aguirre, “prisons tell us a good deal about the social, economic, cultural, and political arrangements existing in any given society.” He states that “how a given society deals with those that break the law (or are accused of doing so) is quite telling of the ways in which citizens' rights are observed (or not) by the state and of the collective understandings of justice and punishment.” What goes on inside prisons should be of concern to all of us, says Aguirre. “Not least because inmates also have human rights and we should try to make sure that power and authority is exercised in a way that does not violate the rights of those put in a vulnerable situation.” Currently the Director of the Latin American Studies program at University of Oregon, Aguirre is the author of several books, including The Birth of the Penitentiary in Latin America, 1830-1940. During his presentation, Aguirre, who earned his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1996, discuss the current status of prisons in Latin American.
Throughout the month of April, the Library will be hosting a variety of events in support of the Novel Idea … Read Together project. The programs are designed to give residents of Deschutes County a context for better understanding this year’s selected novel, González & Daughter Trucking Co. by María Amparo Escandón. The tale of Libertad, her father and her fellow inmates at the Mexicali Penal Institution for Women, is a story that has feet planted firmly on both sides of the U.S. and Mexican boarder and explores the themes of family, freedom, redemption and the power of storytelling. For a complete listing of Novel Idea programs, please visit call 312-1032.