FSIN reported record low number of prisoners in Russia

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The number of prisoners in colonies and pre-trial detention centers in Russia has reached a record low and for the first time has become less than 500 thousand. This was announced to TASS in the press bureau of the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) on Thursday, August 13.

“Today 496 791 people are kept in the institutions of the penal system. We are talking about both citizens held in jail on suspicion of committing crimes, and those sentenced to punishment in correctional colonies, ”the FSIN said.

At the same time, there are 391,614 convicts in the colonies. At the beginning of 2019, there were at least 463 thousand people there.

The FSIN noted that in recent years in Russia there has been a tendency of a stable decrease in persons who are held in places of detention. The trend is associated with the widespread use of alternative punishments without imprisonment and, in general, with the liberalization of the penal policy. Over the past few years, the share of punishments alternative to imprisonment has made up over 70% of the total number of court decisions in criminal cases.

In five years, the number of convicts in colonies with two, three or more convictions has decreased by a third. The Federal Penitentiary Service also notes a positive trend in relation to first-time convicts – in five years, 26% fewer first-time convicts were sent to correctional colonies.

At the same time, the number of persons registered with the criminal executive inspectorates is growing. Since 2018, this figure has exceeded 1 million people a year, and the upward trend continues.

At the beginning of December 2019, Izvestia, citing a report by the Chairman of the Supreme Court of Russia, Vyacheslav Lebedev, wrote that the courts began to deny investigators more often to arrest the accused, and the total number of prisoners in the country had halved since 1999.

As of November 2019, there were 530 thousand people in correctional institutions in Russia, and in 1999 there were 1.06 million people.

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