Federal Penitentiary Service deputy director on moral depreciation of employees due to communication with criminals

Federal Penitentiary Service deputy director on moral depreciation of employees due to communication with criminals
Deputy Director of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia Valery Maksimenko

Deputy Director of the Federal Penitentiary Service Valery Maksimenko said that the Service employees experience “enormous psychological pressure” due to constant contact with convicts who project their emotions onto them.

Federal Penitentiary Service officers are under “enormous psychological pressure,” Valery Maksimenko told Interfax in an interview, supporting the opinion of human rights activist Andrey Babushkin.

“Visiting colonies and pre-trial detention centers, he sees the moral fatigue and depreciation of employees, even young ones. There is such a despair and hopelessness in their eyes,” the deputy director said.

Maksimenko called daily communication with criminals, many of whom are serving sentences for grave and especially grave crimes, the main psychological burden on employees, for which they receive small salary.

According to Maksimenko, “such socially disadvantaged prisoners, who are angry at life, project their feelings and emotions on others.”

He also noted that in 2018 alone, over 360 thousand examinations of employees and over 180 thousand individual consultations with psychologists, the number of which in the Service is more than 3 thousand, were conducted in the structures of the Federal Penitentiary Service.

Maksimenko called the increase in the number of attacks on Federal Penitentiary Service officers by prisoners another serious problem. According to the deputy head, this is due to the refusal of many employees to use special equipment if necessary.

“Then we have to contact investigators, prosecutors, courts, which takes half a year or a year, justifying ourselves and proving our rightness to avoid falling under the penal code,” the Federal Penitentiary Service deputy director noted.

To recall, last year, the prison department was at the center of several high-profile scandals involving the torture of prisoners.

After the video with the beating of Yaroslavl colony prisoner Evgeny Makarov by a dozen employees, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko made a proposal to reform the Federal Penitentiary Service by dividing the department into civilian and security forces.

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