“The Russian prison system isn’t interested in rehabilitation, it is based on retribution and punishment. It is a system underpinned by violence,” Pallot said.

I remember being puzzled by reading numerous accounts over the years of travelers to Russia, the USSR, then Russia again saying this was the European country which reminded them most of the US, until 2018 when I spent several months in Russia and experienced the same impression. The wide expanses, sizes of vehicles, style of interpersonal interaction all reminded me more of the US than of Germany or France. The above statement by an Oxford University professor who has studied Russian prisons had me wondering how many Americans would claim the US prison system is interested in rehabilitation, or that it isn’t underpinned by violence.

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