Prisons in Ukraine

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Prisons in Ukraine are regulated by the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine, a part of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine.

There are 32 preliminary prisons, 131 penitentiary establishments for adults and 8 colonies for minor criminals in Ukraine.[1] According to Amnesty International, torture and ill-treatment by the police is widespread in Ukrainian prisons.[2][3] Several police officers have been arrested for allegedly torturing detainees.[4]

Prison population[edit]

In early 2010, there were over 147,000 people in prison and more than 38,000 in pre-trial detention facilities in Ukraine, a total three times that of Western European countries,[5] and half as much as in the United States. In 2009, the number of inmates in Ukraine rose for the first time in seven years. Coupled with this increase was a higher instance of suicide (44 prisoners) and HIV (761 deaths therefrom) in penal institutions during 2009; the former compares with 40 suicides in 2008.[5] Between 1996 and 2001, about 26 percent of inmates in various prisons across Ukraine tested HIV-positive. In a January 2006 study, between 15 and 30 percent of prisoners tested HIV-positive.[6] In early 2005, tests showed up to 95 percent of prisoners were hepatitis C positive.[6] In 2011, 6,000 inmates had HIV and 5,500 suffered from an active form of tuberculosis.[7]

Various inmates have been kept in pre-trial detention for up to 12 years; there is no legal limit as to length of such incarceration.[7]


Convicts in Ukrainian prisons work 7 or 8 hours a day, except for weekends.[8] Prisoners get to keep part of the money raised from the sale of the items they produce.[8] They are limited to four pairs of shoes.[8] Computers, cell phones and other electronic gadgets are strictly forbidden in jail.[8] Bathing may be limited to once a week.[8]

According to the US Department of State Human Rights Report 2009, conditions in prisons and detention facilities in Ukraine are harsh, and pretrial detention was seen as arbitrary and lengthy.[9] According to Amnesty International, allegations of torture and ill treatment in police custody increased in 2010.[3]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]