Sunday, June 11, 2023

Russia Spends Less than One Percent of What Sweden Does for Each Prisoner but Keeps those Incarcerated Seven Times as Long, ‘To Be Exact’ Reports

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 9 – Russia keeps 328 of every 100,000 of its citizens behind bars, the highest number per capita in Europe, something Moscow can do because it spends so little on them – Sweden spends 120 times more per prisoner than Russia does – and keeps them behind bars far longer – seven times as long on average as European countries do.

            Those  are just two of the statistics that the To Be Exact portal has gathered about the Russian penal system and that help to explain the impact of that system on the country as a whole (

            Among the many other statistics the portal offers, the following are especially noteworthy:

·       58 percent of Russians behind bars spend more than five years there, while in Europe, that figure is 37 percent.

·       Russians are held behind bars before, during and after trials an average of 29 months; in Europe, that figure is 8.9 months.

·       76 percent of Russian prisoners are held in collective labor colonies. The remainder are in isolators while undergoing investigation and trial and jails. 70 percent of those in colonies work but for miserly wages.

·       Mortality in prison is high but lower than in the Russian population, according to officials. Russian prisoners currently die at a rate almost twice that of European ones, 50 per 100,000 behind bars as against 29 per 100,000 in Europe. But rights activists dispute this and say that the lack of medical facilities – there are no doctors in most regions who work with prisoners – means that diagnoses are not made in a timely manner or at all and treatment is delayed or not offered at all.

·       Every tenth Russian prisoner suffers from HIV, with the figures in some places rising to every fourth. Tuberculosis affects more than two percent of all prisoners, and in a few places, that disease infects a quarter of all prisoners.

·       A third of all Russian prisoners are serving time for drug offenses, up from only 11 percent in 2007.

·       The Russian authorities do little to prevent recidivism, and 55 percent of those released from general regime colonies commit new crimes within three years.


No comments:

Post a Comment