Beatriz Magaloni awarded the Stockholm Prize in Criminology
Professor Beatriz Magaloni, Stanford University, is awarded the Stockholm Prize in Criminology 2023. Her research provides important evidence that police organizations are vulnerable to populist demands for harsh police methods that violate the rule of law and which, in the long run, increase violence in society.
The Stockholm Prize in Criminology is the world's most prestigious award in the field of criminology. The prize has been awarded since 2006, and recognizes outstanding achievements in criminological research or for the application of research results by practitioners for the reduction of crime and the advancement of human rights.
The recipient of the 2023 prize was announced during a press conference at Stockholm University on 18 October 2022. The international jury of the prize has decided to award the 2023 Stockholm Prize in Criminology to Beatriz Magaloni (Mexico/USA) for her research that provides important evidence that police organizations are vulnerable to populist demands for harsh police methods that violate the rule of law – and which, in the long run, do not reduce, but increase, violence in society.
Police organizations vulnerable to demands for tough practices
See interview with Beatriz Magaloni.
Beatriz Magaloni's research focuses on the relationship between poverty, violence and the governance of society in order to find concrete measures against lawlessness and violence regardless of whether this is practiced by criminal gangs or by government authorities. She has, among other things, provided us with important evidence that police organizations are vulnerable to populist demands for tough policing practices that violate the rule of law. Her extensive research in Mexico and Brazil shows how public support for police militarization can challenge human rights without increasing public safety. Her work clearly demonstrates the complexity of policing and reminds us of the many dangers of simple solutions to complex problems.
Research into police behaviour in Latin American countries
Trained as a lawyer in Mexico and a political scientist in the United States, Magaloni has worked on innovative criminological research into police behaviour in Latin American countries. From her seminal “Voting for Autocracy: Hegemonic Party Survival and its Demise in Mexico (2006)” to her extensive studies of the experiment with police cameras in areas of high crime and lethal violence (Brazil), she has applied rigorous scientific methods concerning key issues within democratic policing. In her 2020 article in the American Political Science Review “Institutionalized Police Brutality: Torture, the Militarization of Security, and the Reform of Inquisitorial Criminal Justice in Mexico,”Magaloni presented important evidence for a reform of the protection of human rights: The abolition of torture in police investigations.
Survey of inmates in Mexican prisons
Using a survey of 58,000 inmates in Mexican prisons, Magaloni in 2020 studied various aspects of what limits police brutality such as; illegal arrests, witness influence, falsification of evidence and the use of torture to extract confessions. Magaloni's research showed the benefits of a comprehensive legal reform in Latin American countries. Her investigation accelerated the implementation of a 2008 decision by the Mexican Congress to ban coerced confessions as evidence in trials. This decision led to a reduction in the use of torture.
Experiment with body-worn video cameras
In Magaloni's 2015-2016 experiment with body-worn video cameras on police officers in Rocinha, a large favela in Rio de Janeiro with a population of 120,000, she found surprising effects: the cameras on officers led to reductions in police activity (both of ordinary policing but also of excessive violence from police officers), while cameras on police chiefs led to an increased responsiveness to citizens' requests for help.
Magaloni's research helps us understand in what way violence, poverty and social vulnerability reinforce each other and that society's struggle against these issues can both increase and decrease such problems depending on how the methods are designed, according to the prize jury.
More about the award winner
Beatriz Magaloni is the Graham H. Stuart Professor of International Relations and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University in California. She was educated in Mexico, where she received her law degree from the Institution Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico. She went on to complete her Ph.D. in political science from Duke University in North Carolina, from which she joined the Stanford faculty.
The Stockholm Prize in Criminology
The Stockholm Prize in Criminology is an international prize established under the aegis of the Swedish Ministry of Justice and with major contributions from the Torsten Söderberg Foundation. The prize is awarded for outstanding achievements in criminological research or for the application of research results by practitioners for the reduction of crime and the advancement of human rights.
The objectives of the prize are to promote the development of: improved knowledge of the causes of crime at an individual and structural level, more effective and humane public policies for dealing with criminal offenders, greater knowledge of alternative crime prevention strategies inside and outside the judicial system, policies for helping the victims of crime, better ways to reduce the global problem of illegal or abusive practices that may occur in the administration of justice.
The prize was presented for the first time in June 2006 at the City Hall in Stockholm, with the Jerry Lee Foundation and the Tokyo based Hitachi Mirai Foundation as the original donors. The prize ceremony has been held every year since then, always in conjunction with the 3-day Stockholm Criminology Symposium organized by the Swedish National Council on Crime Prevention. It is awarded annually and amounts in 2023 to 1,000,000 SEK. The prize is usually given by HM The Queen of Sweden or the Minister of Justice.
Last updated: October 18, 2022
Source: Communications Office