FSIN deputy director: thieves in law to be accepted on equal terms

FSIN deputy director: thieves in law to be accepted on equal terms
Valery Maksimenko Photo: Znak.com

Valery Maksimenko also believes that the division into “red” and “black” zones is a thing of the past.

The division of the colonies into “black” and “red”, with thieves in law ruling the former, and the colony administration being in charge of the latter, is a thing of the past. As Deputy Director of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service Valery Maksimenko told Znak.com, perhaps this separation still remains in some places, but its relevance is constantly decreasing. According to the official, there can be only one division. Namely, into colonies, where employees comply with the requirements of the law and officers have authority; and colonies and pre-trial detention centers, where employees do nothing, take bribes, and sell for cash. However, this cannot be called the division by colors. Much depends on the boss, on how he builds work with the team. And, according to Maksimenko, even thieves in law, the so-called thieves’ world elite, they note that the leaders of some colonies behave with dignity and cannot be faulted, therefore, order is observed in those colonies. 

At the same time, Maksimenko has not commented in any way on the practice of the so-called “even distribution of thieves” by zones, so that in the colonies, where there are problems with discipline, it is “thieves” who maintain it. Instead, he noted that the younger generation needs to be protected from the appeal of the thieves’ culture. Because young people who are in colonies for the first time may have their minds messed. For example, they may be told that the thieves’ community needs them, and they will have money and women there, while nothing like this awaits them in real life. According to Maksimenko, thieves in law will be admitted to colonies on equal terms.

Speaking about the reasons for the brutal attitude of Federal Penitentiary Service officers in relation to convicts, the deputy head of the Service also mentioned crime lords. Allegedly, their relatives often resort to threats at large. This creates an additional psychological burden on employees, who already experience constant stress at work; they are always in a state of alert due to often being in the company of some very cruel criminals. Plus, prison guards need to provide for their children and pay the mortgage, and their salary is not high enough, Maksimenko concluded.

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