Belarus has the largest prison terms in Europe
‘The average prison term in Belarus is 6.3 years, whereas seven years of jail is considered a terrible penalty in Europe. This fact aggravates the correction of criminals and contributes to the stability of the criminal world,’ BelTA quotes Alexander Barkou, vice-director on the research of the Belarusian State University’s Institute for retraining of judges, officers of procuracies, courts and justice organs.
Despite the fact that starting from 2005 a positive tendency on the decrease of the share of the penalties connected to imprisonment could be observed, the arrest is still used far too often. In addition, the arrested persons are kept together in a prison regime and can communicate with one another.
In the Soviet Union, the criminal legislation of which ran more to the penalties connected with imprisonment fines constituted 28.2% of all penalties in 1962, and 29.6% - in 1988, whereas in Belarus this number was just 2.6% in 2002. The situation has changed since then and in 2008 the share of fines increased to 14.2%.
‘Of course, we should apply fines and other, milder penalties, on a greater scale. However, it does not mean that imprisonment must be entirely eliminated from the criminal code,’ specified the professor.
‘On the other hand, a fine mustn’t be turned into confiscation. In other words, fines mustn’t make people paupers or strike on their families,’ stated Mr. Barkou.