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The Evolution of Prisons and Penality in the Former Soviet Union - Bibliography

The Evolution of Prisons and Penality in the Former Soviet Union - A Suggested Bibliography

Elisabeth Sieca-Kozlowski

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Russian Sources & Resources


1L. Al'pern, Son i Iav' zhenskoj tiurmy, Sankt-Petersburg: Aleteiia, Seriia « Gendernye issledovaniia », 2004

2L. Al'pern, Zametki posetitelia tiurem, Moskva, 2001

3V. Abramkin, Poiski vykhoda : Prestupnost’, ugolovnaia politika i mesta zakliucheniia v postsovetskom prostranstve, Moskva, 1996

4I. Gabaj, Pisma iz zakliucheniia (1970-1972), Sost. Vdtup. Stat’ia i kommentarii M. Khritonova. Moskva : Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie, 2015

5Istoriia stalinskogo Gulaga. Konets 1920-pervaia polovina 1950 godov. Sobranie dokumentov v 7 tomakh. Otv. Red. N. Werth, S. V. Mironenko ; otv. Sostavitel’ I.A. Ziuzina, Moskva : Rossiiskaia politicheskaia entsiklopediia, ROSSPEN, 2004

6A. Karetnikova, Marshrut, Memorial, 2017,​sites/​all/​themes/​memo/​templates/​pdf.php?pdf=/​sites/​default/​files/​marshrut_s.pdf

7Okolo tiur’my : zhenski seti podderzhki zakliuchennykh / po. Red. E. L. Omel’chenko i Dzh. Pellot. Sankt-Petersburg: Aleteiia, 2015

8S. Simonov, Kak vyzhit’ v sovremennoi tiur’me, Moskva : Gorodets, 2015

Chapters in books

9K. Katz, J. Pallot, « Zheny zakliuchennykh v postsovetskoi Rossii: "Puskai gor'ka moya sud'ba - ya budu ei verna! » In, Omelchenko, E. and Pallot, J. (eds.) Okolo tiur’my : zhenskie seti podderzhki zkliuchennykh, Sankt-Petersburg, Aleteia, 2015, pp. 21-50

10J. Pallot, « Sotsializm v ondom barake », Chapter 2 in, L. Omel'chenko (Ed.) Do i Posle Tyurmy, Sankt-Petersburg, Aleteia, 2012

Journal Articles

11K. Averkieva, Geograpfiia i ekonomika rossiiskoi penitentsiarnoi sistemy, Demoskop Weekly, # 651-652, 24 avgusta - 6 sentiabr 2015,​weekly/​2015/​0651/​tema03.php

12A. Oleinik, Anton “zhizn’ po poniatiam” : institutional’nyj analiz povsednevnoj zhizni “rossijskogo prostogo cheloveka”, Polis (Moskva), # 2(#61), 2001, pp.40-51

13S. Markelov, Evropeiskaia skazka v real’nosti rossiiskilh kolonii, Al’manakh « Nevolia ». Prilozhenie k zhurnalu « Indeks / Dos’e na tsenzuru », # 11, 2007,​nevol/​2007-11/​


14E. Korosteleva, Obzor predlozhenii po sovershenstvovaniiu sistemy ispolniniia nakazenii, Tsentre Strategicheskikh Razrabotok, 2017,​wp-content/​uploads/​2017/​10/​20171017_Report-Prisons.pdf

Newspapers’ Special Issues

15« Rossiia – ne koloniia », Novaya Gazeta, #54, 24 May 2017,​issues/​2544

On-line Oral History Projects

16The "Other Side" («Та сторона») is an online archive of interviews with ex-Ostarbeiters, prisoners of war and prisoners of war in German camps and a place to publish materials related to this topic. The project is based on the archives of the Memorial Society. The archive contains more than 300 hours of interviews, recorded from the late 1980s until recently, and about 400,000 letters from former retired fighters, which came to the address of the newly formed society in 1990-1991.

17Memories of the Gulag - - Within the framework of the project "My Gulag" the Museum of Gulag History gathers the memories of people who were touched by the repression. The aim of the project is to create an archive of interviews from former prisoners, children of executed parents, children born in the camps, taken away from their parents whofound their families after decades, and even NKVD workers; all of them are united by the theme of the Gulag.


18Gulag Map (Memorial),


19Denis Tarasov & Fydor Telkov, The other side of the wall,​collaborative-projects/​reverse-side-of-a-wall/​

20Yuri Tutov, photographs 2012-2018,​collage.asp?actuel_page=1&action_mode=replace_step&collage=4x4&collage_x=5&collage_y=10&action_count=1&action_1=dir&action_1_oper=AND&action_1_param_1=52068

Western Sources & Resources


21G. Alexopoulos, Illness and Inhumanity in Stalin's Gulag, Hoover Series on Authoritarian Regimes, Yale University Press, 2017

22A. Applebaum, Gulag Voices: An Anthology, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2011

23E. Anstett, Luba Jurgenson (dir), Le Goulag en héritage. Pour une anthropologie de la trace, Paris, Petra, 2009

24A. Barenberg (ed), Rewriting the Gulag, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, Forthcoming

25A. Barenberg, Gulag Town, Company Town: Forced Labor and Its Legacy in Vorkuta, Yale University Press, 2014

26S. Barnes, A. Steven, Death and Redemption: The Gulag and the Shaping of Soviet Society, Princeton University Press, 2011

27W.T. Bell, Stalin’s Gulag at War: Forced Labour, Mass Death, and Soviet Victory in World War II, University of Toronto Press, 2018

28A. Blum, M. Craveri, V. Nivelon, Déportés en URSS. Récits d'européens au goulag, Paris, Éditions Autrement, 2012

29J. Cadiot, M. Elie, Histoire du Goulag, Paris, La Découverte, 2017

30M. Craveri, A.-M. Losonczy, Enfants du Goulag, Paris, Belin, 2017

31J. Daly, Crime and Punishment in Russia : a Comparative History from Peter The Great to Vladimir Putin, Bloomsbury Academic, 2018

32Th. David-fox, The Soviet Gulag: Evidence, Interpretation, and Comparison, Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh University Press, Russian and East European Studies and Kritika Historical Studies, 2016

33B. Draskoczy, Belomor: Criminality and Creativity in Stalin’s Gulag, Academic Studies Press, 2014

34M. Gheith and K. R. Jolluck, Gulag Voices: Oral Histories of Soviet Incarceration and Exile, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011

35A. Golfo, Illness and Inhumanity in Stalin’s Gulag, Yale University Press, Yahle-Hoover Series on Authoritarian Regimes, 2017

36L. Jurgenson, N. Werth, Le Goulag. Témoignages et archives, Paris, Robert Laffont, 2017

37O. Khlevniuk, The History of the Gulag : From Collectivization to the Great Terror, Vadim A. Staklo (trans.), David J. Nordlander (ed. and comment), New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004

38A. Oleinik, Organized crime, prison and post-Soviet societies, Aldershot : Ashgate, 2003

39J. Pallot, Waiting at the Prison Gate: Women, Identity and the Russian Penal System, Tauris, 2016

40J. Pallot, and L. Piacentini, Gender, Geography and Punishment: The experience of women in carceral Russia, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012 

41L. Piacentini, Surviving Russian Prisons, Punishment, economy and politics in transition, Willan Publishing, 2006

42M. Vincent, Criminal Subculture in the Gulag: Prisoner Society in the Stalinist Labour Camps, London: IB Tauris, 2019

Chapters in books

43O. Khlevnyuk, “The Economy of the Gulag”, in Paul R. Gregory (ed.), Behind the Façade of Stalin’s Command Economy, Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 2001

44D. Moran, L. Piacentini & J. Pallot, “Liminal transcarceral space: prisoner transportation for women in the Russian Federation”, Chapter 8 in D. Moran, N. Gill and D. Conlon (eds.) Carceral Spaces: Mobility and Agency in Imprisonment and Migrant Detention, Ashgate, 2013, pp. 109-126.

45L. Piacentini, “Burden or Benefit? Paradoxes of Penal Transition in Russia”, in K. McEvoy and L. McGregor (eds.) Transitional Justice from Below: Grassroots Activism and the Struggle for Change, Hart Publishing, 2008

46G. Slade, “ ‘A return to Gulags'? Explaining trends in post-Soviet prison rates”. In: D. Melossi, M. Sozzo & J. Brandariz (eds.), The Political Economy of Punishment Today: Visions, Debates and Challenges. Series: Routledge critical studies in crime, diversity and criminal justice, New York: Routledge, 2017, pp. 185-204

47G. Slade, “Punishment and state-building in Post-Soviet Georgia”, in Heathershaw, J. and Schatz, E. (eds.) Paradox of Power: The Logics of State Weakness in Eurasia. Series: Central Eurasia in context series. Pittsburg: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017, pp. 88-104. 

48G. Slade, “Remembering and forgetting the Gulag: prison tourism across the post-Soviet region”, in J.Z. Wilson, S. Hodgkinson, J. Piché & K. Walby (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Prison Tourism. Series: Palgrave studies in prisons and penology. Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. 

49N. Werth, « Le Goulag au prisme des archives », in E. Anstett, L. Jurgenson (dir), Le Goulag en héritage. Pour une anthropologie de la trace, Paris, Petra, 2009

Journal Articles

50M. Butler, G. Slade & C. Nunes Dias, “Self-governing prisons: Prison gangs in an international perspective”, Trends in Organized Crime, March 2018,​article/​10.1007/​s12117-018-9338-7

51G. Favarel-Garrigues, « Priorités et limites de la politique pénitentiaire en Russie », Critique internationale, 2002-07, # 16, p.121-135

52E. Katz, J. Pallot, “Prisoners' wives in post-Soviet Russia: ‘For my husband I am pining!’ ”, Europe-Asia Studies, 66(2), 2014, pp. 204-224

53E. Katz, "I will empower him!": Representations of prisoners' wives in Russia, Slavonica, 19(2), 2013, pp. 128-146.

54R. King, “Russian prisons after perestroika”, The British Journal of Criminology, Special Issue “Prisons in Context”, vol. 34, 1994, pp. 62-82

55D. Moran, J. Pallot, & L. Piacentini, “The Geography of Crime and Punishment in the Russian Federation”, Eurasian Geography and Economics, 2011, 52, No. 1, pp. 79–104

56D. Moran, J. Pallot & L. Piacentini, “Privacy in penal space : women’s imprisonment in Russia”, Geoforum, June 2013, vol. 47, pp. 138-146

57D. Moran, “Prisoner Reintegration and the Stigma of Prison Time Inscribed on the Body”, Punishment & Society 14, 2012, pp. 564-583

58D. Moran, L. Piacentini & J. Pallot, “Disciplined Mobility and Carceral Geography: Prisoner Transport in Russia”, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, # 37, 2012, pp. 446–460 

59D. Moran, J. Pallot, & L. Piacentini, “Rikoksen ja rangaistuksen maantiede Venäjän (Geography of Crime and Punishment in Russia) ”, Idäntutkimus: The Finnish Review of East European Studies, 2012, # 1, pp. 3-24.

60D. Moran, J. Pallot & L. Piacentini, “Lipstick, Lace & Longing: Constructions of Femininity inside a Russian Prison”, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 27, # 4, 2009, pp. 700-720 

61A. Oleinik, « Deux modèles de pouvoir : une étude empirique dans le milieu carcéral russe », Revue d’études comparatives est-ouest, 2008-12, vol.39, # 4, p. 185-212

62A. Oleinik, « Le changement institutionnel : une analyse sociologique de la réforme pénitentiaire en Russie », Revue d’études comparatives est-ouest, 1999-03, vol. 30, # 1, pp. 165-188

63E.L. Omelchenko E. L. “Gender, Sexuality, and Intimacy in a Women’s Penal Colony in Russia”, Russian Sociological Review, Vol. 15. # 4, 2016, pp. 76-95.

64J. Pallot, “The gulag as the crucible of Russia's 21st-century system of punishment ”, Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, 16(3), 2015, pp. 619-648

65J. Pallot, “The topography of incarceration: the spatial continuity of penality and the legacy of the gulag in twentieth- and twenty-first century Russia”, Laboratorium: Russian Review of Social Research, 7(1), 2015, pp. 26-50

66J. Pallot, E. Katz, “The Management of Prisoners' Children in the Russian Federation”, The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 53(3), 2014, pp. 237-254

67J. Pallot, “Changing symbolic and geographical boundaries between penal zones and rural communities in the Russian Federation”, Journal of Rural Studies, 28(2), 2012, pp. 118-129

68L. Piacentini, E. Katz, “Carceral framing of human rights in Russian prisons", Punishment and Society, Vol 19, Issue 2, 2017, pp. 221-239

69L. Piacentini, G. Slade, “Architecture and attachment: Carceral collectivism and the problem of prison reform in Russia and Georgia”, Theoretical Criminology, 19(2), 2015, pp. 179-197

70L. Piacentini, J. Pallot, “'In Exile Imprisonment' in Russia”, British Journal of Criminology, 54(1), 2014, pp. 20-37

71L. Piacentini, “Russia’s Giant Incarcerator: reflections and findings from prison research”, Prison Service Journal, Sept 2006, # 167

72L. Piacentini, “Cultural talk and other intimate acquaintances with Russian prisons”, Crime Media Culture August 2005 vol. 1 # 2, pp. 189-208

73L. Piacentini, “Penal Identities in Russian Prison Colonies”, Punishment & Society, vol. 6, # 2, April 2004, pp. 131-147.

74A. B. Retish, “Breaking free from the prison walls: penal reforms and prison life in revolutionary Russia”, Historical Research, Volume 90, # 247, February 2017, pp. 134-150

75G. Slade, R. Vaičiūnienė, “In comparative perspective: the effects of incarceration abroad on penal subjectivity among prisoners in Lithuania”, European Journal of Criminology, Vol. 15(2), 2018, pp. 217-234

76G. Slade, A. Kupatadze, “Popular punitiveness? Punishment and attitudes to law in post-Soviet Georgia”, Europe-Asia Studies, 69(6), 2017, pp. 879-896

77G. Slade, “Violence as information during prison reform: evidence from the post-Soviet region", British Journal of Criminology, Volume 56, # 5, 1 September 2016, pp. 937-955

78A. Symkovytch, “Do Men in Prison Have Nothing to Lose but Their Manhood? Masculinities of Prisoners and Officers in a Ukrainian Correctional Colony”, Men and Mascunilities, 2017, pp. 1-22

79Y. Vavokhine, « La sous-culture carcérale (post)soviétique face à l’utilisation par l’administration pénitentiaire des doctrines d’autogestion », Champ pénal / Penal field, nouvelle revue internationale de criminologie, Vol. I, 2004

Journal Issues

80 Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, 16, # 3, Summer 2015. Special Issue: “The Soviet Gulag: New Research and New Interpretations”.


81ACAT, Les multiples visages de la torture. Etude du phénomène tortionnaire en Russie, 2013,​public/​acat_russie_fr.pdf.

82Amnesty International, Russie. Les conditions de transport des prisonniers, 2017,​fr/​latest/​news/​2017/​10/​russia-prisoner-transport-conditions-evoke-gulag-era-legacy/​

83Amnesty International, Arbitrary Detentions, Enforced Disappearances, and Torture in Eastern Ulkraine, 2016,​amnestyfr/​ec6add48-12ba-48be-839c-83577575bcaa_ukrainian_report_final.pdf

84Open Society Georgia Foundation, G. Slade, Ia. Kachkachishvili, L. Tsiskarishvili, N. Jeiranashvili & N. Gobronidze, Crime and excessive punishment: The prevalence and causes of human rights abuse in Georgia's prisons, Tbilisi, 2014.

85United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Prison Reform in Kyrgyzstan, Vienna: UNODC 2014.

86United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Assessment Report on the Penitentiary System of Georgia, Vienna: UNODC 2013.

On-line Projects

87European Memories of the Gulag,​. From 1939 to 1953, nearly one million people were deported to the Gulag from the European territories annexed by the USSR at the start of the Second World War and those that came under Soviet influence after the War: some to work camps but most as forced settlers in villages in Siberia and Central Asia. An international team of researchers has collected 160 statements from former deportees, photographs of their lives, documents from private and public archives and films. Many of these witnesses had never spoken out before. In these statements and these documents, the Museum invites you to explore a neglected chapter of the history of Europe. 

88Archiwum Historii Mówionej (AHM),​pl/​s/​index_people, Polish witnesses affected by Soviet repression and deported to Siberia. Ability to browse by person or by topic. (20th century; Polish audio)

89A personal matter for everyone (Lichnoe Delo Kazhdogo)​ is a guide for citizens who want to implement their right to access to documentary evidence about political repressions that took place in the Soviet Union and find information about the destiny of their relatives. 

90The Immortal Barracks (Bessmertnyi Barak)​. Internet Database of Political Repression Victims. This site combines family memory and memories with historical documents and photos.


91Mapping the Gulag, Russia’s Prison system from the 1930s to the present​maps/​

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Electronic reference

Elisabeth Sieca-Kozlowski, « The Evolution of Prisons and Penality in the Former Soviet Union - A Suggested Bibliography », The Journal of Power Institutions in Post-Soviet Societies [Online], Issue 19 | 2018, Online since 13 July 2019, connection on 18 November 2019. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/pipss.4871

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Elisabeth Sieca-Kozlowski

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