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Extra-surveillance, inside a Colombian prison
Extra-surveillance, inside a Colombian prison
Mary Luz Avendaño

MEDELLIN Crimes being committed by some of Colombia's 38,000 convicts on prison leave have become an almost "daily headache," with some returning to a life of lawlessness despite wearing electronic tags or bracelets.

The need to keep closer tabs on prisoners who have been granted leave has led two prison authority (INPEC) employees and a policeman to create software allowing inmates to be located anywhere, in real time. It is apparently the first such application in Latin America, and it is intended to complement the existing tagging system, allowing police and prison authorities to view the same information at the same time.

"On the map, you can see all of INPEC's geo-referenced locations," says one of the inventors, INPEC employee Alba López Torres. "With a click, you can view the basic information on the inmate, his or her exact location, the ID number, date of arrest, and his or her photo."

She says police can download the application on any of their systems to see who is in which parts of town, complete with their full criminal IDs. The application is set to be tested in Medellín, where there have been 61 recividist incidents in 2014.

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Future

Injecting Feminism Into Science Is A Good Thing — For Science

Feminists have generated a set of tools to make science less biased and more robust. Why don’t more scientists use it?

As objective as any man

Anto Magzan/ZUMA
Rachel E. Gross

-Essay-

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, a mystery played out across news headlines: Men, it seemed, were dying of infection at twice the rate of women. To explain this alarming disparity, researchers looked to innate biological differences between the sexes — for instance, protective levels of sex hormones, or distinct male-female immune responses. Some even went so far as to test the possibility of treating infected men with estrogen injections.

This focus on biological sex differences turned out to be woefully inadequate, as a group of Harvard-affiliated researchers pointed out earlier this year. By analyzing more than a year of sex-disaggregated COVID-19 data, they showed that the gender gap was more fully explained by social factors like mask-wearing and distancing behaviors (less common among men) and testing rates (higher among pregnant women and health workers, who were largely female).

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