‘Savchenko law’ mostly releases people convicted of minor offences – human rights organization
The so-called “Savchenko law”, which equates one day in a remand prison to two days in prison, mostly releases people, who were convicted of minor offences.
This is stated in the report of the Donetsk Memorial human rights organization, which provides the analysis of pace of reduction in the number of convicted persons (i.e. the difference between the prisoners and released people).
“As the pace of reduction in the number of persons convicted of serious and especially serious crimes was slow as of the beginning of 2016, the main ‘contribution’ to the reduction in the total number of convicts was made by the release of persons convicted of minor and non-violent crimes. This strongly indicates that ‘Savchenko law’ has not really resulted in the release of an incredibly large number of murderers, rapists and robbers,” the report reads.
The human rights activists cite the following data: the total number of decrease in convicts in 2015 was 3,920, i.e. the number decreased by 327 persons every month. In January-March 2016, the total number of convicts decreased by 5,603 persons, or by 1,868 persons every month.
In the second half of 2015, the number of persons convicted of murder decreased by 125 persons every month (by 516 persons in the first half of the year, by 175 persons in 2014). In 2016, about 700 persons were released for two months, i.e. an average of 350 persons per month.
With regard to persons convicted of grievous bodily harm, the number of convicts decreased by about 225 persons per month in January-March 2016 and in 2015 (by 150 persons per month in 2014).
With regard to persons convicted of robbery and plundering, the number of convicts decreased by an average of 666 persons in January-March 2016 (by 142 persons in 2015 (by an average of 600 persons in November and December), by 875 persons in 2014).
With regard to persons convicted of rape, no reduction was observed in January-March 2016 (their number decreased by 58 persons every month in 2015, by 17 persons in 2014).
The experts also believe that complaints about the “Savchenko law” are artificial as the law does not lead to greater rates of growth in the number of released prisoners. According to them, the employees of the penitentiary system do not like the law most of all as it allows the convicts to be early released from prison without undergoing the corrupt procedure of parole.
The Donetsk Memorial human rights organization also notes that the main purpose of adoption of the law was terrible conditions in remand prisons, which is almost not recalled when the law is being criticized.
“Savchenko law has some shortcomings, they are worth saying. However, its real flaws are not something the opponents of the law repeat so persistently,” the human rights activists sum up.
As reported, November 26, 2015, the Ukrainian Parliament passed the bill authored by Nadiya Savchenko equating one day in a remand prison to two days in prison.