Russia law allowing house arrest in lieu of prison sentences took effect

On January 10, 2010, a Russian law allowing minor offenders to serve their sentences under house arrest rather than in prison entered into force. Under the new law, individuals charged with minor offenses would be able to serve between two months and four years confined in their homes. Courts were additionally allowed to use house arrest as part of a defendant's probationary period. Individuals sentenced to house arrest were monitored by electronic bracelets with GPS tracking devices. Among other restrictions, those so incarcerated would have to notify authorities before changing their place of residency or employment. At the time the law was enacted, Russia had the second largest prison population per capita in the world, superseded only by the US. The measure was intended to address perennial problems of prison overcrowding.


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