Topic: Radicalization & Violent Extremism in Prisons
Country: Russian Federation
Delegate Name: Ethan Hess
The Russian Federation sadly is well aware of the effects of radicalization in prisons, and especially of their tendency towards violence. In the 1940s and early 1950s, a series of wars called the Suka wars were fought inside the gulag camps among the radicalized prison population over what was considered “traitorous” behavior. This traitorous behavior was partly the taking up of Joesph Stalin’s offer of reduced prison sentences in exchange for fighting in the war against the Nazis. This was considered an act of treachery as the gulags at the time had internal hierarchies controlled by “Thieves in law” a group of criminals high up in organized crime who had strict moral codes. A key part of this was that members must not collaborate with the Tsarist (and later, Soviet) government. This included accepting shortened sentences in exchange for fighting for the government. When those who fought in the war were returned to the prison camps, they were labeled ‘suki’ and put at the lowest rung of the unofficial prison hierarchy. Due to this many ‘suki’ would make deals and collaborate with prison guards in exchange for better in-prison jobs. This collaboration is what the “Thieves in law” considered the second portion of the treachery by the same justification as the first. And it is also what finally triggered the Suka wars across the gulag. During these wars, many prisoners died but sadly guards turned a blind eye as the casualties reduced the prison population.
The Russian Federation is dedicated to making sure a terrible event like this doesn’t happen again, and that if one does, there are better ways to manage both the radicalization and the violence that stems from it. We are aware of the existing protocols for both of these events but are looking forward to improvements and modernization of the aforementioned protocols. During the committee, the Russian Federation will be open to working with fellow delegates on the creation of committees to research how to improve these issues in prisons all across the world. Additionally, the Russian Federation hopes to work on the creation of committees to help countries that wish to implement these recommended changes but aren’t able to, get the resources necessary to make the changes.