Penal and Prison Reforms. Portugal, 1820-1886
45th Annual Meeting of the Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies
In nineteenth-century Portugal the criminal question acquired high centrality. The consolidation of liberalism and new ideas about criminal justice, which circulated in the Western world since the eighteenth century, made the reform of the penal system in Portugal an urgent matter. It is necessary to modernize and adapt the Portuguese penal system to the new socio-political context, to new ideas and new values . The reform of the penal system remained present in the Portuguese political agenda throughout the nineteenth-century, with multiple discourses, decision-making, and legislative acts, particularly intense in the period 1851-1886. In this period, reforms were implemented within a framework of continuous exchanges of ideas and knowledge, discussions and observation of what was said and implemented in other countries, both in Europe and in the Americas. This communication aims to highlight the key moments of criminal justice and prisons reform in Portugal between 1820, with the first liberal revolution, and 1886 with the publication of a Criminal Code which will remain in rule for nearly a century. An attempt will also demonstrate that if the reforms implemented in Portugal were strongly influenced by the dynamics seen in other areas of Europe and America, the reforms implemented in Portugal, elicited reactions and influenced discussions and policies undertaken in other nations.
Prison, Penal Reforms, Justice, Crime