Russia to release scores of inmates

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Massive changes in Russian criminal policy will soon transfer about 350,000 convicts from jail to the streets, the largest exodus of prisoners since the Gulag camps were emptied post-Stalin in the 1950s, according to IN THESE TIMES.

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The new law, slated to be launched in coming months, will effect one-third of Russia’s million-plus inmates by changing limits on pretrial detention, reducing sentences for petty crime, and expanding the probation system. It represents the first serious attempt to address the brutality and poor conditions of their prison system, which are symptoms of overcrowding.

But one-tenth of Russia’s inmates have tuberculosis, and AIDS is spreading rapidly due to increased heroin addiction among prisoners, so human rights groups are skeptical that a large amnesty will do more than alleviate the population problem, pointing to the high potential for homelessness on the streets and continued inmate abuse behind bars.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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