Russian authorities launch smartphone app for writing to prisoners
MOSCOW, March 14 - RAPSI. The Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) has launched a smartphone application for writing to convicts. Service representative Alexander Polkin told RIA Novosti that "the FSIN-letter mobile application can be installed on iOS and Android phones."
It can be downloaded from the app stores for these phones.
The FSIN-letter application was first designed in 2008, but previously it could only be used for sending emails. Polkin said that this application was unique.
"After we test it at the Kresty Pretrial Detention Prison in St. Petersburg and at Moscow's Pretrial Detention Prison 5, we will approve its use for all other prisons across Russia," he said.
The application can also be used to send photographs. Letters are addressed to the prison authorities, who censor the message and then print it out for delivery to the addressee.
It costs 30 rubles (about $1) to send one of these emails and the senders can also pay for an answer, which will be sent to their mobile phones.
Polkin added that pretrial detention prisons receive at least 100 emails per day, 30% of which are sent from mobile phones, which prompted the idea for this application.