Prisoners in Ukraine: approximate figures


According to the figures provided by the State Penitentiary Service, as of 1 July 2012 152, 076 people were held in places of confinement.  On 1 January 2012 the number stood at 154, 029, as against 157, 866 a year earlier. Thus, over 6 months the number of people held in places of confinement had fallen by 1.27%; over the year by 3.67%.

The number of convicted prisoners came to 118.909, this being an increase over 6 months of 2.5 thousand, although this is still 244 prisoners less than a year ago.

On 1 July 2012, 33, 167 people were held in SIZO [remand units],   This was 4, 465 less than 6 months ago, and 5, 546 less than in July 2011 (On 1 July 2010 there were just over 40 thousand);

It is because of the decrease in the number of people in SIZO that the overall number of people held in places of confinement has decreased.

On the other hand, the number of convicted prisoners is steadily showing an increase.

on 1 July 2012

During the first half of 2012, 26, 931 convicted prisoners entered penal institutions, as against 24, 707 during the same period the previous year.  19, 992 prisoners were released (against 18, 304 during the same period a year earlier), with this figure including 9, 215 people released on parole (against 9058 in 2011). Thus 6, 939 more prisoners began terms of imprisonment than were released (against 6, 403 the previous year).

The human rights organization Donetsk Memorial thus concludes that the rate at which the number of convicted prisoners is increasing, and the decrease in the number of people in SIZO is because of the increase in the number of convicted prisoners.

It is impossible to give an exact figure for the number of woman prisoners. The Penitentiary Service figure of 9, 315 seems dubious given than on 1 January 2012 the figure was 6, 862, and a year earlier – 7, 100. An increase in 6 months by 35% is impossible.

The government has provided the following figures for the UN Universal Periodic Review: on 1 June 2012 there were 7, 092 women prisoners as well as 93 young women. Donetsk Memorial considers those figures to be more realistic. It points out that the State Penitentiary Service is not for the first time providing inaccurate figures. At the beginning of 2012 it gave false data regarding people suffering from tuberculosis.

On 1 July 2012 there were 1, 342 young people in places for juvenile offenders as against 1, 459 six months earlier.  Of these a little over half were under 18, with the rest left in such places until the end of their sentence or until they turn 21.

There were 42 more life prisoners over the 6 month period, with the number reaching 1, 799 on 1 July 2012, including 21 women.

The Penitentiary Service gives the number of deaths over the six months as 440, however the government’s report for the UN Periodic Review gives a higher figure – 537.

In either case the mortality rate is significantly higher than between 2007 and 2010  (when there were between 365 and 410 deaths).

There is a continuing increase in the number of cases of suicide – there were 32 over the six month period, one and a half times higher than between 2007 and 2010.

The decrease in the number of prisoners with an active form of tuberculosis has stopped, and the number had risen over the 6 months by 185 patients (+3.8%). However for the first time in a decade the number of HIV-positive prisoners decreased from 6, 910 to 6, 347 (- 8.15%).

In 2012 the Penitentiary Service has stopped providing figures for the results of examination of complaints. Previously it said how many had been found to be justified (1-2%). Now it says that there were 196 over the first 6 months but nothing about the results. 

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