Russia's ombudsman backs initiative to fast track commutation of criminal penalties


Tatyana Moskalkova, Russia's Human Rights Commissioner, has backed an initiative of the Justice Ministry to amend the national Criminal Code in a way subjecting mitigation of criminal penalties to fast track procedures, the ombudsman's official website reads on Wednesday. The bill envisages a shorter prison term to be served before imprisonment could be substituted with compulsory community service. According to the authors of the proposed amendments, the new regulation is to aid in correction of offenders and prevention of repeated violations.The new initiative of the Justice Ministry is timely and is worth of every kind of assistance, Moskalkova's statement reads. Any measure aimed at faster socialization of former prisoners inspires respect and sympathy for the cause, the ombudsman has noted. Earlier, Moskalkova has called for more liberal calculation of time detainees spend during investigations and court hearings, the same being applied to those sentenced to terms in penal colonies and settlements. She has also urged the development of a bill envisaging imperative release of seriously ill convicts on medical grounds.