More than 2,000 psychologists help Russian prison inmates

There are more than 2,000 psychologists working in Russia's penitentiary system, Vladimir Yalunin, head of the Russian Justice Ministry's corrections department (GUIN), told a Russian-French theoretical discussion group on Thursday.

According to him, "in 1998, when the punishment system was transferred from the Interior Ministry to the Justice Ministry, there were only 800 of them, while today we have a well-organised psychological service numbering more than 2,000 specialists." Besides, "one of the key components of the system's reform is the training of personnel who can at a high professional level understand and realise the requirements of international standards on the treatment of inmates," the GUIN chief stressed.

He also described as an "important step" in reforming the penitentiary system the creation of a service to monitor the observance of rights of citizens in places of deprivation of freedom. "The totality of the measures we are taking leads to changes in and development of penitentiary institutions, above all as centres of social rehabilitation in conditions of isolation from society," Yalunin said.

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