Source: (2001) Paper presented at Seminario-Taller: Análisis y Perspectivas del Sistema Penitenciario en Panamá Panamá City, Panamá 24 May 2001.In this paper Daniel Van Ness surveys trends and developments in prisons around the world and in Latin America. One of the most significant trends worldwide is prison overcrowding. Van Ness identifies statistics that demonstrate the growth in prison populations around the world, analyzes why this growth is occurring, and points to enormous challenges and problems presented by soaring prison populations. This leads to consideration of restorative justice as an alternative and increasing international interest in it. Van Ness then examines new prison rehabilitation programs that have developed in Latin America, with emphasis on a unique prison regime known as APAC (in English xe2x80x93 Association for the Protection and Assistance to the Condemned).