Ukrainian parliament passes law on improving prison conditions
The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, has passed a law proposing to create more comfortable conditions for prisoners in Ukraine.
A total of 379 out of the 416 MPs registered in the session hall voted for the law on introducing relevant amendments to the Criminal Code of Ukraine on Thursday.
The document is one of the EU integration laws that need to be adopted to enable the signing of the Ukraine's Association Agreement with the European Union, and is the first of them adopted by the Ukrainian parliament this session.
Under this law, convicts held in rehabilitation centers are allowed to wear civilian clothes, and use mobile phones and related accessories.
The law also foresees the possibility of the submission by a criminal executive inspectorate to commute the sentence of a convict sentenced to hard labor, replacing time not served with a fine. It also regulates the procedure for granting long meetings to prisoners, with convicts being granted the right to have an extraordinary long meeting for the registration of a marriage.
In addition, the law foresees the transfer of those sentenced to life imprisonment, who have served 20 years of punishment in prison cells, to common residential buildings in maximum security prisons and keeping them among other prisoners.
The law also stipulates that prisoners who are held in penal colonies with a minimum level of security and facilitated detention conditions, the social rehabilitation centers of the penal colonies with a minimum level of security and general detention conditions, in penal colonies with a medium level of security and in juvenile correctional facilities, may be granted short-term visits outside the colony within Ukrainian territory for a period of no more than seven days, not including the time required for a round-trip (no more than three days), due to exceptional personal circumstances.