Vladimir Central Prison is celebrating its 230th anniversary this year. Built in the 18th century as a transit prison for convicts on their way to Siberia, Vladimir Central Prison started specialising in political prisoners in the 20th Century, and now it holds particularly dangerous offenders.Arkadiy Kolybalov / Rossiyskaya Gazeta
Such prisons appeared in Russia in the mid-16th century, before which criminals were killed on the spot, or, if they had committed only minor offences, beaten or fined.ITAR-TASS
Then jails emerged. The authorities then decided rather than have criminals sit and do nothing, they ought to have them working. This is how penal colonies came to be.Arkadiy Kolybalov / Rossiyskaya Gazeta
The prison which now holds particularly dangerous offenders in Vladimir (facility OD-1/T-2) was built for political prisoners in the 18th Century by order of Catherine II.Arkadiy Kolybalov / Rossiyskaya Gazeta
It has been known as the Vladimir Central Prison since 1906. In 1921, it was turned into a detention facility for political prisoners, and in 1929, into a special state security prison. In 1945, it became a destination for prisoners of war.Arkadiy Kolybalov / Rossiyskaya Gazeta
The pretrial detention centre currently holds about 200 people, while the prison itself holds 100 people, three of whom are serving life sentences. A cell holds between two and twelve people.Mikhail Fomichev / RIA Novosti
The prison manufactures leather sports equipment, bringing in 15 million roubles (over $450,000) per year. Between 60–70% of the prisoners work, with wages varying from 6000 to 10,000 roubles (about $180–300) per month.Mikhail Fomichev / RIA Novosti
The youngest prisoner is 18 years old, and the oldest is 70, while the average prison term is between five and ten years.Arkadiy Kolybalov / Rossiyskaya Gazeta
There has only been one documented escape (of 36 people in 1906), but the circumstances surrounding it are unknown.Arkadiy Kolybalov / Rossiyskaya Gazeta
Vladimirsky Central is considered as one of the most tough Russian prisons along with Cherniy delphin (Black Dolphin) in Orenburg Region and Beliy Lebed (White Swan) in Perm region.ITAR-TASS
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