ICPR BISR Colloquium Risk and vulnerability in prison
ICPR BISR Colloquium Risk and vulnerability in prison populations: a global crisis Time to re-evaluate what we expect of prison? Reflections on Russia Bill Bowring Birkbeck College, University of London President of SCRSS Experience with prisons in Russia Adviser on Legal Reform and Human Rights for the
Department for International Development from 1997 to 2004 On joining the Council of Europe in 1996, Russia entered into an obligation to transfer the penitentiary system from the Ministry of the Interior (which includes the police and interior armed forces) to the Ministry of Justice. The transfer took place on 1 September 1998. Prisons Partnership Project (PPP), which twinned the six pretrial prisons (SIZOs) in Moscow with six UK prisons, commenced on 1 April 2000 and ended in April 2003. It was worth 742,000. The contractor was the International Centre for Prison Studies, then at KCL Experience with prisons in Russia
Alternatives to Imprisonment Project (ATI) commenced on 1 September 2000, and ended in September 2003. It was worth 709,995. It was the conception of General Filimonov, a Deputy Head of GUIN, and Professor Utkin of Tomsk University, and was based in Tomsk, Ryazan, and Samara. The project partner was Penal Reform International (led by Baroness Vivienne Stern). A Federal Law on Alternatives to Imprisonment was enacted at the end of December 2004, and the numbers serving Community Service Orders grew from 17,400 in 2005, to 41,500 in 2006, and 54,600 in 2007 In 2008, I was invited by the Council of Europe for the Seminar entitled The Penitentiary System of the Russian Federation in the Light of the European Standards held in Pskov, Russia, on 17-18 June 2008.
Systemic problems of the Russian penitentiary system In his presentation at the 2008 Pskov seminar, Professor Utkin spoke frankly about systemic problems in the Russian penitentiary system. He emphasised the importance of the fact that very few penitentiary institutions in Russia are named prisons. Convicted prisoners serve their sentences in correctional colonies, that is, camps, which are run on military lines. As Prof Utkin said, the operative phrase is Quick march!. Most prison officers are retired servicemen, from the Russian
Army, and their military background inclines them to see the prisoners as the enemy. Clockwise: a cell in Matrosskaya Tishina SIZO (Investigative Isolator remand prison); Butyrka SIZO with results of the ICPS project (can you guess what?); Matrosskaya Tishina SIZO; a Correctional Colony in Ulyanovsk Correctional colony no.35, Abakan, Khakassia Numbers of persons to be found in places of deprivation of liberty. From FSIN Why the dramatic drops in 2003-4, and after 2010?
In 2000-2001 I was one of three Council of Europe experts assisting the drafting of the new Criminal Procedural Code, which came into force in 2002 One of the innovations of the new Code was that henceforth Prosecutors lost the power to decide on bail or custody, and all such decisions must be taken by a judge, with the possibility of an appeal The Code introduced a presumption in favour of bail, which must be displaced by the prosecutor if remand in custody is to be ordered. In April 2010 former President Medvedev introduced amendments to Article 108 of the CPC (remand in custody), limiting the imposition of remand in custody on persons alleged to have committed crimes in the sphere of entrepreneurial activity.
The new provisions of Article 108 with some exceptions excluded remand in custody of persons accused under Article 159 (fraud, swindling), 160 (embezzlement), 165 (causing damage to property through deception or abuse of trust) and 174 (money laundering). On 10 June 2010 the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation adopted a Resolution clarifying the key provisions of Article 108, in effect excluding remand in custody for persons committing economic crimes in the course of their entrepreneurial activity. Russia no longer the leader Russian prison population total (including pre-trial detainees / remand prisoners): 645,350 as at 1.9.2016 Incarceration rate (per 100,000 of national population): 447, based on an estimated national population of 144.4 million at beginning of
September 2016. UK is no.101, at 146 Rankin g 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Title Seychelles United States of America
St. Kitts and Nevis Turkmenistan Virgin Islands (USA) El Salvador Cuba Guam (USA) Russian Federation Thailand Prison Population Rate 799 693 607 583 542 541
510 469 447 441 The pilot judgment On 10 January 2012 the European Court of Human Rights delivered a "pilot judgment" against Russia in the case of Ananyev and Others v Russia
In Ananyev the Court found (paras 131-3) that Mr Ananyev was held in the Smolensk remand prison IZ-67/1 from 20 January to 23 March 2007. During his two months stay he was accommodated in cell 170, which measured 15 square metres and had 13 sleeping places. The parties agreed that its population peaked at 21 prisoners. The Court noted that inadequate conditions of detention were a recurrent problem in Russia which had led the Court to find violations of Articles 3 of the Convention in more than 80 judgments since the first such finding in the Kalashnikov case in 2002. Russia was given six months to work out, with the Committee of Ministers, a comprehensive programme for improvement.
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