In August, the Russian General Prosecutor’s Office announced that 90% of inmates have health problems and said that last year prison doctors registered 1.2 million cases of various illnesses. Infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, are prevalent in Russian penitentiaries. On September 2, the U.S. Embassy Law Enforcement Section conducted a conference with the Russian Ministry of Justice on legal issues related to medical treatment of prisoners and best practices in prison health care reform. Following the conference, on September 13, President Medvedev sent a bill to the legislature proposing a major reform to the Code of Criminal Procedure which would expand the opportunities for pretrial release for those suffering from serious or chronic illnesses.
About 50 Russian government and NGO representatives attended a U.S. Embassy Law Enforcement Section conference on Prison Health Care Reform at the Russian Ministry of Justice on September 2. Officials at the table included Deputy Minister of Justice Smirnov, ranking officials from FSIN (Federal Agency for Sentence Implementation), U.S. experts and NGO representatives.