“You come in, and she’s on the floor is a concrete”

every year the Russian prisoners born about 450 kids. These children, once born, are forced to share the punishment of their mothers. They are cut off from quality medicine and walk in the courts, where due to the lack of sunlight even grass does not grow. “the Tape.ru” talked with Leonid Agafonov, human rights defender, head of the project “women, prison, society,” the author of petition for the release from prison of women who have committed crimes of moderate severity, not associated with violence. There are, in his words, about 67 percent.

“Ribbon.ru”: with a justice women and juveniles in prison, was allowed to bathe instead of one to two times a week. The state is gradually becoming more humane?

Leonid Agafonov: actually there is at least two times a week, it is possible though every day, but in practice prison guards adhere to the minimum limit, citing the fact that it is not obliged to do more. I answered your question?

besides, one thing on the paper or in the course of the audit, and the other weekdays. For example, pregnant women derive a wash. There are six showers. Half of them not working. And they are washed two or three times. Time given 15 minutes. But still need time to wash, because hot water is just there. And here’s one foam, the other is reused.

How many of us have already given birth and pregnant mothers are now in prison?

Exact figures I will not call you and then explain why. Only in places of deprivation of liberty in the spring we had about 47 800 women. Three quarters of them aged 20 to 35 years, i.e. most suitable for pregnancy and birth of children. Many will know that she is pregnant, is already in prison.

let’s start with how the kids end up in prison. Born in the wild with mom “ring out” there?

By law, a woman with a child up to three years are not separated, but in practice with children on the hands will not take. There are only isolated cases. These kids are usually sent to the child’s home. Even relatives difficult to take them. Has to be a certain level of income, suitable housing — there is a whole list of requirements, including requirements for the health guardians.

there was a case when a grandmother gave the three children of a woman who was given nine years imprisonment. But this rarely happens.

Then there is the option in fact one: when the camera is already pregnant woman.

Yes, but penitentiary does not take into account the impact of will documents about the pregnancy. That is, a woman with such a belly, which is visible, is placed in a normal cell. And even on the second tier to determine can. We have long fought.

Walk into the camera as she lies on the floor of the concrete. On a thin mattress. I said not to climb to your seat in any way. Because there is no ladder, of course not. Everything is spelled out, the main thing, and must be single beds.

the Attitude of a prisoner does not change, no additional power for it is not until a local doctor documented to confirm her position. And the meeting with the doctor is sometimes delayed for months.

And what she may and give birth in a shared cell without any medical support?

This, of course, did not happen, but miscarriages happen and jailers of these cases hide. We randomly identified. Already in the treatment of some gynecological problems the prisoner says that she had a miscarriage, and then went inflammation. And she even no document no, she was pregnant. Ask the jailers, and they say: we had nothing, we took her to the hospital, and there she had a miscarriage.

And how the administration treats pregnant prisoners? Regret?

People are different. But our clients often tell us that with those who are in the position staffed operotdela. Persuade them to have an abortion.

the Employees of the FSIN still like to say that, well, these women get pregnant specifically to get into jail, and then will abandon their children. Take the horror stories and serves them as if it’s business as usual.

do you?

not so. The General attitude to pregnant prisoners. Across the country in places of deprivation of liberty come to light about 450 kids. In Moscow, St. Petersburg and Krasnodar in such cases the most. For pregnant or have already given birth there is a special office, but more humane treatment in the regions where this kind of postality come less frequently.

Rejection jailers may be due to the special situation of pregnant women. What are their privileges?

Additional food for pregnant relies plus an unlimited amount of gear will, more importantly.

This is a significant plus.

how to say. You have to understand that rest on the will of men, they often quit. Male version of “idol” we have in the country. Same thing with friends — they often turn away. Remain mother-pensioner. And how many they can pass?

where prisoners give birth?

In every jail or prison has a hospital where they’re taking their female guests, when, as they say, water broke. These are places where the city dumped all the “Les Miserables”, indiscriminately.

And in two hours after the birth of the inmates is taken away. Children for a period of from a week to a month stay in the hospital, and then they bring in the camera to the mothers. Thus far, no breast-feeding is not by definition. It is at this time lost.

some of the women, of course, and so are unable to feed because they are HIV-positive, but the fact remains: children of prisoners, in this respect, disadvantaged in comparison with other kids.

Two hours? And the mother may not be able even to see a newborn?

Yes, exactly. Why is this being done? We sent a request to the Federal penitentiary service and the chief medical Department to clarify the reason.

prison officials answer that the doctors just throw them out in two hours. The doctors write that the minimum time mothers in the hospital should be three days, but the FPS takes them two hours after birth.

it is Clear that lying to the guards. They just can’t or won’t keep long in the hospital escort. Technically this is understandable: three armed men in the maternity ward… But the instructions of doctors not on an empty place has arisen!

they Say that women give birth is literally a prisoner in handcuffs. Is that so?

fresh cases was only one, Yes. Earlier in St. Petersburg, this practice was widespread. She apparently continues even now in some regions. Even the decision HRC there are about this. But we are not talking about the actual childbirth. Strapped to hospital beds during labor, which can last for several hours or all day to sit and monitor the patient. It’s in the HRC and the European court saying that it is wrong to do, and in the FPS there is no indication that it is impossible. You can always present the case so that, say, people tend to escape. Though, and her contractions are. What’s the difference?

And it happened when I was born right in the isolator, in the case of transient delivery, for example?

of Course, it happened. A few years ago one became to give birth in the paddy wagon. Then paddy stopped to put pregnant women without an escort of paramedics. And since such support is difficult to achieve, has reached the point that the defendants ceased to carry to court. And those who already gave birth, now forced to write the power of attorney to a cellmate that she will watch over the child during a visit to his mother at the hearing.

about How the life of a mother with a child in the camera? Is there a crib, diapers?

Diapers, undershirts must give. But there are scanty standards. For example, one nappy a day. Is that enough? In fact, the only way to exist is through the will, from relatives or from charitable organizations.

cots, again, needs to be, but they are not enough. Kids sleep with their mothers.

To doctors, these children, like their mother, too, for months can not get?

Yes, often. In large centres there is a bet or part-time pediatrician. But these professionals don’t work with babies and with teenagers who were sitting there.

By and large, the kids should be regular district doctor-pediatrician, but he go to jail physically very difficult. They visit the prison side, because there are only penetrant input and output, medications to carry, will not give — and so on.

Even such diagnoses as cerebral palsy, are not, and certainly not treated. Recently the girl went out: her little more than a year, and officially, the diagnosis was not supplied.

Once the four months we have worked to ensure that the baby got to the surgeon. Reached high officials. And only after a call from above came to him a doctor. Generally every child born in prison, there are a bunch of diseases that are not actually treated. If there is some inflammatory process or rising temperature, it is called an ambulance and hospitalitynet. Mother, of course, remains in the chamber.

And what about walks?

According to the law of walking prisoners with children and pregnant women is not limited. But humanity a bit. Pregnant women herded into little boxes and open the barred ceiling for an hour or longer. They “walk”. And you know, at a certain period of time, these women are increasingly going to the toilet. And in this box it is not, and back to the camera to off. Need to wait and tearful request no one will hear. So the poor prisoners sometimes refuse at all from such trips.

with regard to children’s walking — it’s too much trouble. First and foremost, of course, no fixtures, ramps and handrails. Kids regularly fall there, injured and jailers of these incidents hidden.

In the chambers, for example, in St. Petersburg, hanging a special phone. The prisoners call and ask to bring their children for a walk. Answer: get ready to move out and wait. Kids wear. And jailers are not in a hurry. After half an hour wait, the kids have time to sweat. They begin to undress. Then finally comes the convoy: “Oh, you ready yet?” — and go.

to Walk the children of prisoners should to the open area where there should be a minimum some sort of greens, sandbox… So in the Udmurt Republic, my colleague from the PMC, as they were in prison and asked to see a children’s Playground. Showed the piece of land where not a blade of grass there. She asked why. And she said, “Where is the light of the sun to something, rose?” So children grow up without seeing sunlight.

In the colonies kids too, all the time behind barbed wire. The world, of nature they can’t see. And it happens that zechki in those places where it is possible, raise them up to the kids admire what the fence is. On cars, trees, pedestrians. This is a touching and very sad.

What to eat prison children deprived of mother’s milk?

Mix, puree in jars. No variety, of course, is not here. Plus, that’s all you need to heat, and according to the rules in the chambers have to stand plates, some teapots elementary. But it often happens that all this is only for the arrival of the Commission. But then again, everything taken away. ‘ve been told that our ward from Voronezh, for example.


If no one will give, will not bring anything they will not. I’m here, when you go, take with you always a little. Well, that at the entrance, though not taken away.

what you tell, it looks pretty grim. But any progress is positive we have?

With the colonies in Russia there are 13 children’s homes, there mothers are allowed to a few hours a day. How efficiently there watching the children, tells of a recent incident when a child threw up and died from what failed.

in Recent years, as an experiment, some mothers in the colonies were allowed to live together with the child. That’s all positive.

Some ordinary people think that to sit with the child means to secure a privileged position. In fact, for the administration of this powerful lever of pressure on the prisoner. They can at any time separate them on some trumped-up reason. It is life in constant fear. The horror.

And with three years of a child taken away from her. This breakup is hard for both babies and their mothers. And, of course, they immediately separated. Without any preparatory work, especially psychological.

perversely, the current Russian legislation allows to mitigate the punishment for women with children, and release them earlier, but these rules do not work. And so we created a petition to draw attention to this issue and bring about change.

How many people signed it?

19 thousand signatures had accumulated. Now we send letters to the regional Ombudsman ― asking them to support our initiative. It’s a long, gradual work. Our society is not very humane yet.

there was a recent case when a woman of a certain administrative resource, got a reprieve from the punishment due to the presence of young children. And people were collecting signatures to put. She hit and killed two people.

In your opinion, pregnant women and mothers with infants in General can not be planted?

No, of course. We sought to have ceased to imprison women for the crimes of average and small weight. So it is possible to replace the jail house arrest with an electronic bracelet. It is not a question of the mother, and the child who is innocent and has the right to grow up in the same courts, where his “free” peers.

I understand that most of these women sit for drug trafficking?

Yes, about 40 per cent for it. One girl got pregnant at the camera for ordinary theft. Not previously convicted. Here it surprised me. It turned out that she was a migrant. Because of the citizenship of the Russian it does not, it turns out, planted.

If you subtract murders and grievous bodily harm, that is really dangerous to society misconduct,…

Convicted of non-violent crimes we have around 65-67%.

What happens to children after his release? As their development was affected by the fact that the first years of life they spent in the chamber?

Bad. Often there is a lag in development. A bunch of diseases. Here one woman told me recently that after his release came with the child to the pediatrician, and that the hair on my head stood up: “Where were you? You have no vaccination” ― and so on. She replied that in a remote village lived. I’m afraid to tell you that in prison, child was. After all, what is the attitude of society to those who visited the jail? They are perceived as contagious, leprosy and become an outcast.

Inevitable topic “as they have in the West?”

I spoke with Hannah Kosinski Deputy Ombudsman in Poland. She was engaged in the preparation of all necessary for the child, who is in prison. They have special institutions where mothers with children are contained. There are no bars on the Windows. Employees do not have the right to go to the form, not to hurt the child. It’s such a transitional option between the us and Norway, where pregnant women or women with children do not put. Doing a deferment or chose another punishment.

once in the hospital to separate children from mothers? At least in Russia, where to sit heavy both adults and kids.

I’ll tell you what’s on my mind there was only one case when the girl-the prisoner wanted to terminate the pregnancy. She was HIV status. It was transferred from the penal colony in the ordinary, and she asked that she have an abortion. Only one case.

And at the will of the statistics is quite different. It is difficult to say where this desire and perseverance in the quest to have a baby of our sidelit, but I have seen many times, what a joy they are when tinkering with the kids, and how excited the kids are to their mothers. And most importantly, motherhood often abruptly changes the person corrects it, if you want. And supporting this institution, we, it turns out, contribute to the eradication of crime, not its growth. It’s, you know, there is the misconception people have — say, a man born in prison must be a criminal. Only everything in life differently.