Sunday, April 11, 2021

Russia Spends More on Jails and Less on Each Prisoner than Any European Country, Statistics Show

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 8 – In its annual report on prisons and prisoners for the Council of Europe, the University of Lausanne says that Russia because it has as many prisoners as all other European countries combined spends 4.1 billion euros a year on them, but at the same time, it spends far less on feeding them (

            According to the report, Russia spends 2.8 euros a day of feeding each of its prisoners, while Great Britain spends 136 euros and Germany spends 149. Moscow commentator Igor Yakovenko says that this pattern is absolutely consistent with “the general logic of Putin’s Russia” (

            For it, he says, the budget is for the bosses, in this case for the guards and not for the people, in this case, the prisoners.” “Putin’s Russia is a big prison zone, the inmates of which are divided into three categories: one, the smallest sits behind bars; the second, somewhat larger, guards the perimeter;” and the third includes the rest of the population or potential prisoners.

            There are some 2.6 million people in the second group, Yakovenko continues, and there is “a direct cause and effect connection” between their numbers and the number of prisoners per 100,000 population. The more of the former, the more of the latter there will be so as to justify the jobs and pay of the jailors and those who back them.

            And what that means, Yakovenko concludes, is that all of these jailors and their supporters view the rest of the population as potential prisoners, whose incarceration will only benefit themselves. That is not accidental, he argues. Instead, it is “the essence of a state system and the basis of the operation of its economics and politics.”


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