Penal Systems of World Powers

Abladen grosser Steinbrocken am Weissmeer-Ostsee-Kanal, 1932

The organization of Soviet labor camps hoped to accomplish a number of purposes. These projects were improvements on the infrastructure of the Soviet Union and, ultimately, the economy. Considering how swiftly the Belomor was completed (“Twenty months and it must be built cheaply” –Stalin) and the lack of material resources, this success was based primarily on the re-purposing of an otherwise idle prison population. Granted, the ‘labor camp’ style of  punishment in the Russian penal system was established long before Soviet rule but the Soviets were the first to implement it on such a large and effective scale. … Read the rest here