Human Rights House Foundation


Moscow Center for Prison Reform

The Moscow Center for Prison Reform (MCPR) is a non-governmental organization founded in 1988 to promote a fair, effective and human system of criminal justice and punishment. MCPR was founded by former political prisoners with the whole-hearted support of Andrei Sakharov, who actively cooperated with the organization until his death.

 +7 (495) 621-09-15
 +7 (495) 621-10-24
Street address:
Office 7, Building 4, Doorway 3Luchnikov side-street, Moscow 101000, Russia
Postal address:
Office 7, Building 4, Doorway 3Luchnikov side-street, Moscow 101000, Russia

The oblect of the Center is to attract the attention of mass media, society and governmental bodies to the disastrous situation of the penitentiary system. The Center has published hundreds of books, brochures, booklets, leaflets and posters and prepared more than a thousand publications and audio and video reports for mass media. Together with other non-governmental organizations, the Center organized several successful publicity campaigns for the support of reform bills, in which thousands of people from different Russian regions took part. The exhibition Man and the Prison received a lot of publicity and was presented in the State Duma and in various exhibition halls in Moscow and other cities. During 1998 2000, more than 50,000 people came to see it.

The weekly radio program Oblaka (“Clouds”), which has been broadcast on the “Russian Radio” station since 1992 and which is devoted to the problems of prisoners.

At the end of 1999, the Center, in conjunction with other non-governmental organizations, began to conduct a new publicity campaign entitled “Stop the Penitentiary Chernobyl!” The deputies of the State Duma received more than 6,000 letters in which voters demanded that the bill proposed by the Ministry of Justice be adopted quickly and that prisoners who have committed minor crimes be amnestied. This manifestation led to results. On May 19, 2000, the bill of the Ministry of Justice passed its first reading in the Lower House of the Duma. On May 26, 2000, the State Duma announced an amnesty as a result of which approximately 120,000 prisoners will be released before the end of the year.

The Moscow Center for Prison Reform also works in the domain of legal education of the population, monitors human rights and the current legislation, makes sociological surveys, etc.

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