Ensuring Economic Security Of The USSR Penal System In The 20th Century

Abstract

In article questions of rule-making, production and administrative activity of the penal system of the USSR in the 30-40th of the 20th century directed to maintenance of its economic security are considered the production activity of prisoners directed to self-sufficiency of places of detention is reflected, the actions promoting improvement of domestic conditions and food of special squads, observance of their rights, freedoms and legitimate interests reveal. The authors prove that, by the beginning of the war, forced labor camps had accumulated rich experience in industrial and economic activities, and therefore. The authors substantiate the thesis that during the restructuring of all the work of the rear on a military focus and subordinating it to the interests of the front, the following primary tasks were assigned to the correctional labor camps administration: strengthening the isolation of prisoners and the fight against anti-Soviet manifestations among them; preservation of the physical condition of prisoners and their full labor use; providing the most important defense buildings and enterprises with labor from prisoners; comprehensive increase in defense products; expansion of its own food base. In conclusion, the authors argue that the economic security of the penitentiary system of the USSR in the 30-40s. XX century, it was ensured by the involvement of prisoners in labor in various areas of the national economy, the expansion of their own food base, as well as the fight against violation of the law by prisoners and staff.

Keywords: Economic securityprisonerscorrectional labor colonieslegal responsibilitywork of convicts

Introduction

The prison system of the USSR - especially from state entities, especially in the middle of the twentieth century. On its scale, the fact is demonstrated that at the beginning of World War II, labor camps and colonies contained 2,300 thousand people, 93% of men, GARF. F. 9414. Op. 1. D. 66. It is necessary not only to ensure isolation of such a large number of prisoners, but also to ensure compliance with living conditions and food. Inadequate work in these areas can lead to the creation of a security system and its employees (Frank, 2019).

In 1931, tests were conducted at the facilities of the organizational and production structure. The White Sea-Baltic Canal, during the construction of which in 1931 64 100, in 1932 – 99 095, in 1933 – 84 504 convicted persons. The construction was headed by the head of Belomorstroy, L. I. Kogan, who interpreted his position in this way: «A prisoner costs the state 500 rubles a year. Trojads, crooks, pests, counter-revolutionaries. We will send them to the camp and say: „Here are the tools for production, if you want to eat, work!“».

The total cost of the construction of the White Sea-Baltic Canal exceeded 101 million rubles, of which about 31 million rubles, 36.3%, were spent on the purchase of materials and equipment, more than a third, 33.6%, were spent on the maintenance of workers and the payment of bonuses.

In five years, the Gulag created its own large fishing industry. A large fishing fleet, built on its own, carried out fishing on the coast of Murmansk, in the North Caspian Sea, Sea of Japan, Tatar Strait, etc. According to the research of Datiy and Shabanov (2006a) in 1935 the volume of fish caught for own needs amounted to 600 thousand centners. Segezha Timber and Paper Combine and sulphate pulp mill had an annual output of 101,820 tons of pulp, of which 70 thousand were exported. The sawmill supplied 53.5 thousand cubic meters of timber to the domestic market and 100.8 thousand for export. In January 1940, 1334,408 prisoners were used in the camps of the Gulag, of which 31,558 were in the colonies and 190,266 were in prisons (Ivanenko & Malkova, 2019).

Methods

Considering the issues of remuneration in colonies and camps, the authors note that for correctional labor colonies these norms were established by the people's Commissariat of justice of the RSFSR and the All-Russian Central Council of Trade Unions (Datiy & Shabanov, 2006b). 75% of the earned amount relied on the tariff rates in force in the national economy, and the remaining 25% were given to them upon release. Prisoners of labour camps were paid only a bonus of 10% of the rate of civilian employees.

Results

Over fulfillment of the planned target increased the amount of bonus compensation, depending on the growth of the percentage of output. The United state political office and the People’s Commissariat of Labor carried out regulation of labor organization and its protection together. As a general rule, a working day should not exceed 8 hours, however, because of the pursuit of self-sufficiency in the camps, convicts were actually employed for 10 hours or more. Persons receiving a specialty in vocational courses were assigned a shorter working day. The liability of prisoners for certain offenses was tightened. Thus, the republican prosecutors and camp leaders, by a joint directive of the USSR Prosecutor and the people's Commissariat of internal Affairs of the USSR, were invited to prosecute convicted persons for committing petty thefts of raw materials, semi-finished products and finished goods belonging to correctional labor institutions in accordance with the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of August 10, 1940 «On criminal liability for petty theft at work and for hooliganism»; for the appropriation or sale of items of clothing allowance - according to Art. 168 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR and the corresponding articles of the Union republics; for hooligan behavior – by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of August 10, 1940 and part 2 of article 74 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR or to bring to disciplinary action in accordance with the orders of the people's Commissariat of internal Affairs of the USSR of August 2, 1939 and of July 4, 1940. However, there were exceptions. So, in January 1941, the head of the Gulag V.V. Chernyshov sent an order to all the heads of the camp and colony departments, telling about the fate of twenty-six prisoners: by the decisions of the Supreme Tribunal of the people's Commissariat of internal Affairs troops for violation of the camp regime and twenty-one systematic refusals from work sentenced to death, the remaining five - to an additional ten years in prison. All similar sentences, V. V. Chernyshov demanded henceforth «to declare to all prisoners camps and forced labor colonies».

Escapes of prisoners from places of deprivation of liberty were equated to sabotage and disorganization of the camps. According to paragraph 3 of the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of June 15, 1939, the fugitives were to be judged under Art. 5814 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR, applying harsh measures, up to the death penalty. Without a doubt, counterrevolutionaries, bandits, robbers and other especially dangerous criminals, as well as other categories of prisoners should have been sentenced in the event of a second escape.

Discussion

Measures aimed at ensuring the security of prisons were aimed not only at the special contingent, but also at the staff. In 1935, the activities of the correctional labor camp, prisons and colonies of a number of territories and regions were checked. The organization of the execution of criminal sentences in many of them was found to be unsatisfactory. Weak control over the work of the staff of the places of deprivation of liberty by the management of the correctional labour institutions, the Gulag apparatus, the prosecutor's office and the public led to frequent abuse of their position by civilian employees and prisoners who performed administrative and technical functions. The facts of forgery of documents for the illegal receipt of food, unauthorized searches and seizures of money, the purchase of things from prisoners and the appropriation of the values of the dead, the concealment of women who refused to work, the inducement to cohabit women, etc. were revealed by the administration. the place of the USSR, the undeserved application of concessional credits of working days to convicts, the use of labor for other purposes, the use of violence against prisoners, etc.

By order of the USSR people's Commissariat of internal Affairs of February 17, 1936 No. 0072 «On combating the facts of mockery against prisoners in forced labor camps, prisons and colonies of the people's Commissariat of internal Affairs» in all prisons, colonies, camps, special boxes were placed for the statements of prisoners in the name of the people Commissioner of Internal Affairs and the head of the Gulag. The boxes had to be sealed, and all correspondence had to be sent personally to the internal affairs drug.

By the beginning of the war, forced labor camps had accumulated rich experience in industrial and economic activities, and therefore, with the restructuring of all the work of the rear on a military focus and subordinating it to the interests of the front, the following primary tasks were assigned to the correctional labor camps administration:

- Strengthening the isolation of prisoners and the fight against anti-Soviet manifestations among them;

- preservation of the physical condition of prisoners and their full labor use;

- providing the most important defense buildings and enterprises with labor from prisoners;

- comprehensive increase in defense products;

- expansion of its own food base.

Production of prisoners during the war covered 15 sectors of the national economy – non-ferrous metallurgy, forestry, woodworking, oil, gas, coal, fishing, and others. During 1942, correctional labor camps enterprises produced products for 1290 million rubles, which exceeds the planned indicators by 8.3% and constituted an increase by 1941 of 18.6%. Every year, production indicators increased. So, in 1943 all the colonies and camps were fully self-supporting and handed over 686.7 million rubles to the state’s income, GARF. F.R. 9401. Op. 2.On May 10, 1945 in the PFL there were about 160 thousand prisoners who were used by the people's commissariats: coal industry – more than 90 thousand people, the people's Commissariat of internal Affairs – more than 18 thousand, power plants – more than 12 thousand, ammunition – more than 6 thousand, weapons – about 5 thousand, non-ferrous metallurgy – about 5 thousand, chemical industry – about 4 thousand, construction – more than 2.5 thousand, mortar weapons – more than 2 thousand, secondary engineering – about 2 thousand, communications – more than 1 thousand, the military fleet – about 1 thousand, heavy engineering – about 1 thousand , ferrous metallurgy – about 1 thousand, defense – about 800, light industry – more than 700, the people's Commissariat of state security – more than 500, electric industry – about 500, machine tool industry – about 400, pulp and paper industry – more than 350, oil industry – more than 250, food industry – more than 250, textile industry – more 130 and other departments – 3800 people (Zemskov, 1991). In the camp sector of the "national economy" of the USSR, 353,723 prisoners were occupied in 1947 (Khokhlov, 2009).

Work continued to ensure the security of places of deprivation of liberty. In connection with the armed protest of prisoners in the correctional labor camp in Vorkuta in January 1942 and resulting in great casualties among prisoners and security personnel, an instruction was already developed in February 1942 on the regime for the detention and protection of prisoners in forced labor camps and colonies people's Commissariat of internal Affairs of the USSR in wartime. In the event of the escape and prosecution of prisoners, attacks on the administration and convoy, operational and service outfits were empowered to use weapons without warning. It was allowed to use weapons and in case of refusal of prisoners to start work. Moreover, the non-use of weapons in case of official necessity, as well as their improper use, entailed criminal or administrative liability (Borodkin, 2018).

The struggle was carried out against the theft and squandering of food and clothing property by employees of places of deprivation of liberty, the misappropriation of personal belongings of prisoners and prisoners of war, theft of food by failure to deliver the norm and other violations. In case of theft and embezzlement, it was ordered to bring the perpetrators to justice with the recovery of the value of the kidnapped, thereby not using the practice of imposing disciplinary sanctions for the theft.

In the first 6 months of the war alone, 277 people's Commissariat of internal Affairs officers were convicted of violating Soviet law, of which 184 were state security operatives, the remaining 93 were technical workers, watchmen, and the supervisory staff of prisons, camps, and colonies. At the same time, 70 people were convicted of violating «socialist legality» and abuse of their official position as early as 1937–1939, 55 people – for «criminally negligent attitude to the service», 30 people – for embezzlement of state property, theft and hooliganism. For crimes directly related to the outbreak of war, were convicted: for treason, 2 people; for the disclosure of state secrets – 2; for anti-Soviet agitation – 15; for voluntary surrender – 16; for desertion from the battlefield – 9; for failure to comply with the order due to cowardice – 25; for unauthorized executions and killings – 19 people (Rogaleva, 2011).

Conclusion

Thus, the economic security of the penitentiary system of the USSR in the 30-40s. XX century It was ensured by the involvement of prisoners in labor in various areas of the national economy, the expansion of their own food base, as well as the fight against violation of the law by prisoners and staff. In the 1930s, new decrees, codes, laws were developed and adopted, which increasingly tightened the repressive policies of the Soviet state (Cherbaeva & Ivantsova, 2018; Lushin, 2017). The penitentiary institutions of the Soviet state in the 30–40s. XX century were concentrated in the department of the NKVD and carried out two main tasks: punitive and economic (Kuanysheva & Votinova, 2016).

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Aleksandrova, E. A., Lukanin, V. V., Mehdiyev, E. R., Zibrova, N. A., & Lisovaya, N. N. (2021). Ensuring Economic Security Of The USSR Penal System In The 20th Century. In & N. Lomakin (Ed.), Finance, Entrepreneurship and Technologies in Digital Economy, vol 103. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 56-61). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.03.9