MOSCOW, October 22. /TASS/. Humanization of criminal legislation and the introduction of alternative punishments are the main reasons why the number of convicts and arrestees in Russia has reduced over years, the press office of the Federal Penitentiary Service has told TASS.
"The number of convicts and suspects and accused being kept in police custody goes down first and foremost with the humanization and improvement of criminal legislation, as well as the introduction of alternative punishments: mandatory works since 2005, restriction of freedom since 2010, and compulsory works since 2017," the press office explained.
These measures have kept the number of prisoners on the decline since 2010. At the beginning of 2009 there were 734,000 serving prison terms. By January 2019 their number had been down to 463,000, and by October 1, by another 30,000. For instance, in 2018, of the 233,000 convicts stripped of the right to indulge in certain types of activity 81% were banned from driving motor vehicles for crimes involving traffic rules violations. Before, many were sentenced to real prison terms for such crimes.
"The number of those in custody goes down not just because less offences are committed and the approach to minor wrongdoings is more selective, but also because alternative punishments have been introduced," the penitentiary service said. Last year, house arrest was used against 22,000 people, and the newly introduced restrictive measure implying a ban on certain activities was applied to 944,000. Whereas ten years ago in 2009, there were 140,000-150,000 in custody, five years ago the list of such persons was down to 115,000 and in 2018 it was pretty close to 100,000 — half of the number registered in the early 2000s.
Russia’s penitentiary service on Tuesday reported an all-time low of those kept at detention prisons. Currently there are less than 100,000 such persons.