The price of captivity: why "prison" goods are more expensive than conventional counterparts
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The price of captivity: why "prison" goods are more expensive than conventional counterparts

29 September , 10:14EconomyPhoto: Медиахолдинг 1Mi
The Federal Penitentiary Service of the Belgorod Region earns multi-million dollar amounts on government orders. At the same time, "prison" prices are higher than store prices. The administration itself reports that the money is used to upgrade the material and technical base of the colonies. But is it?

Daria Voznesenskaya

Three correctional colonies in the Belgorod Region sell goods outside the institutions of the Federal Penitentiary Service. For municipal needs, they manufacture office furniture, equipment for landscaping courtyards, information boards, etc. According to the Federal Penitentiary Service, the price of goods consists only of the cost of production costs - that is, they sell them at cost. However, as found out journalists of Bel.Ru, the prices of goods produced in the colonies, above the store where cheating there.

One of the largest contracts for January-September 2020 among the institutions of the Federal Penitentiary Service was concluded by correctional colony No. 7. She undertook to supply various furniture to the Alekseevsky College dormitory, which was undergoing major repairs. The contract price was RUB 14.2 million.

However, the prices of the goods make you draw attention to yourself. For example, clothes hangers were sold for 15.8 thousand rubles apiece. While on Yandex.Market, journalists found similar offers at a price of 3.5-4.5 thousand rubles. Shelves for books cost the customer almost twice as much - 2186 instead of 1220 rubles at Yandex.Market prices. The wall cost 27.7 thousand rubles - the price is obviously too high. But whether the price matches the quality is an open question.

The same situation is typical for another state contract, which was concluded with the Belgorod correctional colony No. 5 - for the supply of furniture for the educational building No. 1 of the Novooskolsk College. The colony sold a filing cabinet, which can be bought on Yandex.Market for 11.5 thousand rubles, for 23.7 thousand rubles. An easy chair from a correctional institution cost almost 17 thousand rubles, and a table for the presidium - over 25.5 thousand rubles.

Another colony - No. 4 - concludes contracts for the production of goods for the "domestic" market. However, in this case, prices are already below market prices. For example, the institution supplied the management with second-grade wheat flour for 19 rubles per 1 kg. And the housing and communal administration of the Federal Penitentiary Service for the Belgorod Region purchased from IK-4 travel kits for personal hygiene of convicts and accused at 47-52 rubles apiece.

The Federal Penitentiary Service for the Belgorod Region reports that the profit received from the sale of manufactured products is used to maintain and strengthen the material and technical base of subordinate institutions, modernize and develop production, as well as create jobs for convicts.

According to the publication Bel.ru, in January-September 2020, only three correctional colonies in the Belgorod region, working for the "external" market, signed government contracts for 340 million rubles. Next is simple arithmetic. In total, as of January 1, 2020, 4.4 thousand people were held in correctional institutions of the region, of which over 2 thousand were employed. The average salary of convicts is over 8 thousand rubles. Let's say that every month about 16 million rubles are spent on prisoners' salaries, then 144 million in nine months. Thus, 196 million of profit remains.

According to SPARK-Marketing, in 2020 the Federal Penitentiary Service for the Belgorod Region participated as a customer in 151 bidding procedures for 58.8 million rubles. That is, there is still about 137 million rubles left. Even if some of this money is spent on modernizing production, as well as on materials needed to make goods. But where the remaining money goes is anyone's guess.

At the same time, one should not forget that the budget, at the expense of which government contracts are paid, partly consists of citizens' taxes. It turns out that ordinary people indirectly finance the maintenance of correctional colonies. “And the extra spending is especially painful for the state budget and citizens in the context of the coronavirus crisis, when many were left without work and were forced to sharply cut their spending. Maybe here it is, another opportunity to cut budget spending?", - asks the editorial staff of Bel.ru.

Last year, the correctional colony of Nizhny Novgorod was also seen selling goods at exorbitant prices. The sugar packaged in the institution was sold at Avito at a price of 63 rubles per 0.8 kg. At that time, the average cost of granulated sugar in the Nizhny Novgorod region was 27.9 rubles per 1 kg. Then the regional GUFSIN told NewsNN that they bought sugar in 2018, when its price was higher, and therefore they sell it at a higher price. The final cost of products also included the costs of packaging and labeling, wages of convicts, general production and general expenses. The question arises: why then does the consumer need sugar, which can be bought in a regular store three times cheaper?

The same question arose from the author of the article "By the hands of prisoners: how much they sell" prison "products in the Belgorod region." The problem is that state purchases do not always have a description of what goods the UFSIN supplied. The same table can be of different variations. It is possible that the parameters of the goods that were made for the college were made to order. It is difficult to find a similar product on the network, so we took similar positions. But why should a budgetary institution spend more if it is possible to purchase practically the same product online at wholesale prices?", - Kristina Semenchuk, correspondent of Bel.ru noted in a conversation with Novye Izvestia.

She also said that in the process of writing the material, the UFSIN, oddly enough, assisted in providing information in every possible way. So far, there has been no reaction to the published article from the management.

“Everyone wants to make money. As far as the UFSIN answered, they are updating the material and technical base. We cannot state where these funds are going. Perhaps they are buying something for the colonies. But we looked in the analytical system, while there were no big purchases”, - added Semenchuk.

The journalist recalled only one major scandal related to the Federal Penitentiary Service in the Belgorod Region. At the end of 2016, correctional colony No. 4 entered into 12 government contracts for the supply of canned vegetables with the Central District Department of Procurement of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia. But there was no production base for the execution of contracts for 30 million rubles. Therefore, we had to rent space from the KonProk plant. The colony administration received an advance payment of 80% of the cost of canned food. But the customer did not accept the finished product, the damage exceeded 14 million rubles.

Corruption in the departments of the Federal Penitentiary Service takes place. This is proved by the incident that took place in the Nizhny Novgorod region. In July of this year, the deputy head of the GUFSIN for the region, Yevgeny Sychev, and the head of the wages department, Stepan Vakhonin, were detained there. They are accused of abuse of power. According to preliminary information, the officials created a scheme according to which they wrote out bonuses to their subordinates. Those, in return, gave them kickbacks in the amount of 30% of the reward.

In addition, Vitaly Gudkov, deputy head of the regional GUFSIN, was detained in the Nizhny Novgorod region last week. A criminal case was initiated against him under the article “Abuse of official powers”. According to the investigation, the accused demanded that the leading employees of the subordinate institutions of the penitentiary system of the Nizhny Novgorod region transfer money to compensate for the damage caused to third parties as a result of the strait in a service apartment. At the same time, Gudkov gave the received 350 thousand rubles to the injured party.

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