Russia's Notorious Prisons: Now With Skype and Sunbeds

Nov 9, 2010
Exec. Prod. of Franchises & Series. He previously reported for HuffPost, L.A. Daily Journal, and Biloxi Sun-Herald.
So where are they putting the sunbeds? (Photo: Wikimedia Commons).

Here's a reason you may want to get incarcerated in Russia sometime soon: The 19th-century brick fortress known as Butyrka prison in Central Moscow is up for a facelift.

Reuters is reporting that prison officials are combating their notoriety for squalid, overcrowded and unhealthy lockups by installing... sunbeds!

Also, inmates may soon have access to Skype, providing a low-cost method of talking to loved ones.

Butyrka—which has seen the likes of Nobel laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn pass through its gates—has been under international scrutiny since anti-corruption attorney Sergei Magnitsky died in custody. Supporters said Magnitsky was denied essential medical services during his detention.

How bad is life in Russia's prisons? 

Earlier this year, the prison service said almost half of Russia's inmates are ill, many infected with HIV or with tuberculosis. It blamed outdated medical equipment for disease and health problems.

Reuters reports the prisoners might even get mud baths and other spa treatments. 

Maybe the wardens here at TakePart HQ should take note...

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