The rise and fall of Brazil’s public security program: PRONASCI
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This study focuses on political and administrative issues in program design in a complex federal system. It examines the rise and fall of Program for Public Security with Citizenship (PRONASCI) in Brazil. This innovative, even radical combination of police reform and social change targeting crime and police practices in the nation’s poorest communities was launched as a national policy in a country – like the USA and other large democracies – with a strong federal constitutional framework. Although it was successful in many aspects, it ran afoul of a political and bureaucratic process tugging between innovation and conservatism and eventually collapsed, not on its merits but in the face of policy implementation issues that may be found more generally in the domain of police reform. One lesson of PRONASCI is that the reform process must take into account bureaucratic interests, the stance of the media, and opportunities that emerge at crucial moments in the political process. It also must sustain the commitment of political elites to the necessity of pursuing change.