The role of labour in domestic and foreign penitentiary legislation: problems and solutions

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Introduction. The author considers the role of labour in reforming of imprisoned convicts through comparative analysis of domestic and foreign penitentiary legislation. The paper outlines the problems of convicts’ labour education, which are inefficiency of some provisions of normative basis regulating the convicts’ working relations. The research is up-to-date due to the search for the new modern forms and methods of motivating convicts to transform, one of the means being socially useful labour. The novelty of the research is in revealing of similar features and principle distinctions in assessment of labour role in domestic and foreign penitentiary law. Specifying the modern problems of legislative regulation of organization of convicts’ labour in correctional facilities the author suggests some improved methods to increase the convicts’ working motivation. Materials and Methods. The documents of domestic, foreign and international penitentiary legislation, materials of dissertations, monographs, journals included in the international global scientific bases were studied. The main research methods were content-analysis and comparative analysis of the collected information. Results and Discussions. Under the Russian legislation socially useful labour is one of the main means of reform, and actually its role is in the simplest form of convicts’ organization and employment. European penitentiary legislation defines the role of labour as the main means of convicts’ further socialization. The avenues used to achieve the mentioned results are significantly different. In the former case it is mandatory engagement in labour with low effective organization of labour and stimulation, the latter case implies more effective organization of labour and personal approach through special psychological programmes and methods stimulating the interest in labour. The author also singles out common problems of two legal systems, these are absence of full-time employment. Conclusions. Most legal systems use labour as one of the main and most important means of convicts’ reform. The developed labour relations in correctional facilities of the Russian Federation have certain positive impact only on some convicts from those engaged in labour, and cannot be completely appropriate to the general aims of criminal punishment. Organization of labour in correctional facilities must be maximally overall and aim at fast socialization of a convict, along with acquiring useful skills and professions which can assist the convict after his release.


Convicts, labour, labour education, motivation, stimulation, aims of punishment, correctional system

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IDR: 149125093   |   DOI: 10.24411/1999-6241-2020-13015

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