‘There is absolutely no work’ – The reason why so few Russian prisoners have work
Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova has revealed the number of prison inmates who are not in any form of work.
Speaking at a meeting of the Coordination Council in Kazan, Moskalkova quoted figures from the News Agency Novosti showing that around 60% of people detained in Russian prisons are not in employment – click here for further details передает
Moskalkova told Novosti’s reporters, ‘Figures from the Russian Federal Penal Correction Service indicate that for a variety of reasons 60% of prisoners are not in work. The consequence is that they cannot support their families, they cannot pay the fines the courts impose on them as part of their sentence, and they are being denied their constitutional rights as detainees.
A researcher for Russia Behind Bars* explained the reasons for the problem: ‘Prison is a state within a state’.
A researcher from the Agency for Social Information added, ‘If our economy is not fit for purpose, why should our prisons be any different? There is absolutely no work in the country. Why then should we expect there to be any work in our prisons? The economy is collapsing, whatever victories the Department of Statistics may claim. Even if Moskalkova is right and half of the prison population is in work, how does she explain their salary of 150 roubles? We have seen documents from the prisons, verified and approved by the censors, that clearly show what prisoners are paid. Even if people are given work while they are in prison, once they are released, nobody is going to give them a job. There are no government programmes to help ex-prisoners find work or reintegrate into society. These people are invisible to the government. That’s why Russia has the highest rate of recidivism in the world.
*Russia Behind Bars is a charity that supports prisoners and their families. It raises money for people who are the victims of a miscarriage of justice, it runs legal education programmes and provides professional advice on criminal law matters. In 2018 Russia Behind Bars was blacklisted by the Ministry of Justice as a foreign agent.