Russian prisoners make and provide various goods and services to the tune of over 30 billion rubles ($874 million) a year, with half of their products being used by prisons proper, said Dmitry Izyumov, the deputy head of the prisoner labor adaptation department of the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN).
"The production sector of the Penitentiary System currently involves 563 centers for prisoner labor adaption, 26 apprenticeship facilities and 55 labor therapy facilities," Izyumov said at a meeting of the FSIN Public Council on Friday.
Each year enterprises produce over 100,000 types of goods in various manufacturing industries and offer services to the tune of over 31 billion rubles ($903 million) (in 2013, 31.3 billion rubles [$912 million], an increase by 2.1 percent on 2012 ), the official said.
"Almost half of this output (47.4 percent) is for direct consumption by correctional institutions (in 2013, 14.56 billion rubles [$42.5 million])," the FSIN official said.
In 2014, some 215,700 inmates were in paid employment at their prisons; their average daily salary rose from 171.98 rubles ($5) in 2012 to 194.34 rubles [$5.6] (an increase of 13 percent).
According to FSIN, there are now only 101,100 jobs at prisons with a total inmate population of 676,000.
"Job creation is being hampered by penitentiary lack of funding for these purposes. No earmarks have been allocated since 2006 to create jobs for prisoners, develop and upgrade the material and technical base of manufacturing," Izyumov said.
A significant quantity of convicts admitted at correctional institutions (about 80 percent) "have no labor skills or lost them completely, are reluctant to work because of having legal obligations and alimonies, suffer from chronic alcohol and drug addiction and other socially-significant diseases," Izyumov said.
Still, the Interior Ministry is now finalizing the placement of its order, the implementation of which should provide extra jobs for a significant number of convicts, the FSIN official said.
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