What is the difference between a prison and a penal colony?
Prisons house those who have been sentenced to more than five years in prison for especially serious crimes, as well as for certain crimes, such as terrorism, hostage-taking, organizing illegal armed groups, hijacking a plane, train or water vessel, or seizing power. Also in prisons there are convicted especially dangerous recidivists and those who have been transferred from correctional colonies for malicious violation of the order of serving the sentence.
Prisoners are held in prisons in lockable dormitories and, in special cases, in solitary confinement. As a rule, the prison is a separate building or complex of buildings, while the colony occupies a large territory on which there are industrial premises and a living area, on the territory of the colony there may be a store, club, library, school and even a soccer field.
In colloquial Russian speech the word “prison” is often used to refer to any institution where convicts serve their sentences in the form of imprisonment. However, according to the Criminal Executive Code (CEC) of the Russian Federation, a prison is a separate type of correctional institution.
How does a penal colony differ from a prison?
As for the conditions of serving sentences, the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation provides for the following varieties – normal, facilitated and strict conditions; in colonies any of these three can function, while in prisons only normal and strict conditions can function. In educational colonies, by the way, preferential conditions are also possible
How does a penal colony work?
The colony is divided into an industrial zone, where production facilities are located, and a residential zone (that’s why in criminal jargon colonies are called “zones”). The living area, in turn, is divided into a number of “local areas” where there are dormitories for inmates.