The Russian government has cut its federal prison financing program by nearly half, from 96.5 billion rubles ($1.5 billion) to 55 billion rubles ($890 million).
Over 600,000 people are housed in 962 correctional facilities and detention centers, according to the 2018-2026 target program signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev published last week.
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The Russian government’s new $890-million correctional system development program aims to improve conditions for suspects and defendants housed in jails and prisons, including the construction of 11 new detention centers with a capacity of over 11,000 seats.
A similar 2017-2025 program allocated $1.5 billion to build 10 detention centers with a capacity of fewer than 10,000 seats.
Overcrowding at times reached 156 percent and remained most pronounced in the annexed Crimean peninsula, where there are on average 1.8 persons occupying one allocated space.