Poverty Contributes to Filling Female Prisons

Reporter Bibiroka Abdullaeva spend the day at a women’s prison in Nurek, where many of the inmates are there for serious crimes such as murder and drug trafficking.

Poverty Contributes to Filling Female Prisons

Reporter Bibiroka Abdullaeva spend the day at a women’s prison in Nurek, where many of the inmates are there for serious crimes such as murder and drug trafficking.

A general amnesty two years ago all but emptied the prison, but it has quickly filled up since then and now holds more than 200 women.



There are signs that economic desperation is driving more women in Tajikistan to crime. They often act as mules in the flourishing heroin trafficking trade.



Yusufkhon Husseinov, the prosecutor responsible for penitentiaries in the southern Khatlon region, where Nurek is located, said at least 20 of the prison’s current inmates had been released within the last couple of years, only to commit another offence.



“Some rejoined the gangs they were in; others committed crimes because they were unable to find work,” he said. “And there are some who are just incorrigible.”



According to Husseinov, there is a safety-net for prisoners after they are released. The prison administration is obliged to tell local government officials when an ex-convict is going to reside in their area, and the latter authorities are supposed to provide job training or medical treatment as appropriate.



Tajikistan
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