#7 - JRL 7206
Russian prison population decreasing
Moscow, 2 June: Russia has a prison population of 873,000, the Justice Ministry's corrective institutions department told Interfax.
On 1 May, there were 716,800 convicts in corrective institutions and 156,200 inmates in pre-trial detention centres.
Thanks to the reduction of the population of detention centres, "living conditions for suspects have significantly improved", a ministry spokesman said.
For instance, in 2002, the overall prison population dropped by 103,000. Out of that number, the population in detention centres declined by 66,000 or almost 33 per cent.
The department's leadership pays special attention to cooperation with international and Russian public organizations and NGOs.
On 4 June, in the framework of this cooperation, human rights groups will meet Justice Ministry leaders to discuss interaction with such institutions and corrective system authorities. Representatives of 30 NGOs and human rights groups have been invited to the meeting.