MOSCOW, September 29 (RAPSI) – On Tuesday, the law allowing transfer of convicts to penitentiary facilities located near places of residence of their close relatives came into force.

The law envisages that federal penal administrations are to be empowered to permit convicts to be transferred to penitentiary facilities in the regions, where close relatives thereof have their places of residence on condition that convicts or their relatives with the convict’s consent petition for such a transfer and if the respective facility is equipped to accommodate such a convict. In case the facility has no vacancies, the convict may be transferred to a penitentiary facility in a neighboring region.

Close relatives are spouses, parents, children, adopters or adoptive children, blood brothers and sisters, grandparents, grandchildren.

The law is aimed at the improvement of the penal policies and preservation of socially useful connections of convicts.

Earlier, Russia’s High Commissioner for Human Rights Tatiana Moskalkova asked President Vladimir Putin to support the legislative initiative. Annually, the Ombudsman received lot of applications from people seeking help as they could not visit their jailed relatives serving sentence far from their homes, she told RAPSI.

According to Moskalkova, such circumstances often led to social divide and instigated a person to a repeated crime. When received many similar complaints, she understood that the problem had a systemic nature and turned to the President asking to back a proposal to amend legislation and give a relevant order to the Government.