Sentenced adult women serve their terms in the colony-settlements, correctional colonies of general and strict regime, and by the court decision they can serve a part of their terms in prisons (in isolated blocks and sections).
There are 32 colonies for adult female prisoners. In late 1997 they housed 38,800. Two of these are of strict regime and other 30 – general regime. There is one closed prison having two separate blocks: one for those transferred from general regime colonies, another is for those from strict regime. 10 of 32 women colonies have so called «Houses of Mother and Child» holding the children under 3 years old. The numbers of those convicts who are having the children in the Houses of children — 360 (the late 1997).
Three colonies are designed for women under 18 years age. In 1997 they housed 1262 girls.
This number of institutions cannot be considered as sufficient because the convicted women cannot be placed, as it is provided by law, in the colonies near their homes. It is more true in respect to the girls under 18 since there are only three institutions to house them for the whole Russia. Our recommendation is to arrange smaller prisons in each province, in all big cities.
The average age of women in custody is 36 years. 53,9% of female prisoners were married at the time of imprisonment. During imprisonment 54.2% of women got divorced. 2.7% of women got married during imprisonment.
During the last decade the portion of the women sentenced to long terms has been increased. Russian academicians have been studied the effects of the long imprisonment on women and made a conclusion that the prison had embittered and corrupted women rather than corrected them. Long terms just ruin female personality and often the courts do not sentence female offenders to imprisonment if their crime do not present public danger. In practice it means that if the term is less that one year, a woman is left at freedom.