According to an official statement from the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN), Russia’s prison system has recorded 980 cases of COVID-19 among its employees, Interfax reports.
There are also 238 inmates in the prison system officially diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Reportedly, a total of 87 inmates and 405 employees have recovered from the disease so far. The Federal Penitentiary Service’s press bureau also claims that more than 52,000 coronavirus tests have been carried out within its subordinate institutions and agencies.
The Federal Penitentiary Service last released data on the spread of the coronavirus in the prison system on May 14. According to official statistics at that time, 617 of the department’s employees had been diagnosed with COVID-19, as well as 145 inmates. There have been no reported deaths.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, inmates are no longer being released on parole. The Federal Penitentiary Service’s leadership has asked Russian courts to refrain from sending individuals accused of moderate or minor crimes to pre-trial detention centers, if possible. The Russian Supreme Court has also advised against jailing people for minor crimes during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, a group of human rights defenders and lawyers have launched a new project called “Grey Zone” (“Seraya zona” in Russian), which maps information on cases of respiratory illnesses in Russia’s prison colonies and pre-trial detention centers.