MINISTER OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS HOLDS PRESS CONFERENCE, ANSWERS QUESTIONS ABOUT IMPRISONMENT CONDITIONS
According to Uladzimir Navumaw, Minister of Internal Affairs, the state spends 115’000 BYR (about 70 USD) a month per one prisoner. All prisoners have jobs. The Minister pointed out, mostly prisoners do unskilled or semi-skilled jobs, which pay about 50-70 thousand BYR. "There are jobs for them, but because wages are low, and jobs are for unskilled workers, the state has to allocate a lot of resources for their maintenance", pointed out Uladzimir Navumaw.
Nevertheless, Navumaw believes, goods produced in prisons have a potential to successfully compete in the market. Last year the state gave some preferences to enterprises located in penal institutions. In particular, penitentiaries were exempted from land-tax and VAT.
The Minister pointed out, one should take into account the fact that the majority of people working in penal institutions don’t have any profession and have no desire to work. "Many of them flatly refuse to work. The moment the President ordered to create jobs in one of the penitentiaries he visited last year, we had to also create professional schools to enable prisoners receive professions. Some of them started to work at the age of 40 only. Before that they had no profession at all", informed Navumaw. Now practically every penal institution runs a professional school, where prisoners have an opportunity to receive training to do 5-7 various jobs.
Today the state announced an amnesty. The Minister claims the amnesty will have a visible economic effect, because the state will be able to spend less on prisoners and their maintenance.
According to Minister Navumaw, Belarus has a developed system of alternative punishment. We are using such measures as arrest. During the last 4 months we are using home arrest a lot more often. "When we are talking with experts from other countries, we come to the conclusion that we have more types of alternative punishment", -- claims the Minister.
Answering the question if he was going to run in the upcoming parliamentary elections, Uladzimir Navumaw told the journalists after 3 years of his work at the post of the Minister of Internal Affairs, he lost all desires to do politics.