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Major cuts to planned funding for Russia's prison system


Russia’s state penitentiary system is going to have to do more with less. According to a revised federal action program, the government now intends to spend roughly half as much on upgrades to the country’s prison system over the next eight years: 55 billion rubles ($894.6 million) instead of 96.5 billion rubles ($1.6 billion). The new pretrial detention facilities built under this plan are supposed to accommodate 11,000 new inmates — a thousand more than when the funding was almost twice as high.

For the past few years, the budget allocated to feed Russian prisoners has also been falling. In 2015, the state spent 86 rubles ($1.40) a day feeding each inmate. By 2017, that figure had dropped to 72 rubles ($1.17) a day, and by 2019 a prisoner’s daily diet will consist of just 64 rubles ($1.04) in food.

What is the prison system supposed to do with half as much money?

The eight-year plan calls for 11 new pretrial detention centers, 14 new secure facilities (and renovations to four existing such facilities), and the construction and reconstruction of 118 auxiliary facilities at pretrial detention centers.