Pussy Riot Member Moved without Family’s Knowledge

The jailed member of Pussy Riot, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was moved to a Siberian prison during an almost month-long period while her family was unaware of her whereabouts. Russian prison authorities moved Tolokonnikova after a highly publicized hunger strike over a distance of several thousand miles without telling her family  where she was being moved. Movement of prisoners often takes this long because the trains that transport the prisoners stop many times in different prisons throughout Russia. Russian authorities also are not legally required to say where a prisoner is being moved until after a transfer has taken place.

Today it was confirmed that after 24 days without contact with her family, Tolokonnikova was moved to a prison in the region where she once lived with her mother, Krasnoyarsk. Her husband initially believed Tolokonnikova was being moved to the town of Nizhny Ingash, which is 185 miles away from Krasnoyarsk. Tolokonnikova is currently in the hospital for convicts in Krasnoyarsk instead of the prison, being treated in a tuberculosis hospital. While she does not have tuberculosis, she is being treated for the hunger strike complications.

Is it ethical to move prisoners without notifying their families? What would the American reaction be if something like this happened to a prisoner in the United States?





Tuberculosis in Russian Prisons

While researching articles and websites for this project, I found a common theme of the health care system in Russia and how it’s changed over the years for better or for worse. My sources agree that the ’80s and ’90s were a particularly bleak time for Russia’s health care system, especially in Russian prisons were infirmaries were smaller and more crowded than public hospitals and larger centers for spreading diseases. Several of the other sources also discuss the problem of drug resistant tuberculosis and how Russia’s high recidivism rates contribute to the issue of multi drug resistant tuberculosis in prisons.

In my research, I have found both the CDC and WHO websites very informational because basic facts and detailed statistics are available in the many reports on tuberculosis both institutions have released. Also, because my topic is so recent (tuberculosis first became a serious problem  in prisons in the 1990s), most of the articles and websites I found will be of more use than the books, which are older and focus more on Russian health care in general.

I found Evernote helpful for taking in-class notes but the formatting was easily corrupted when transferring files from the iPad to my computer and vice versa. I haven’t used Dropbox enough yet to form an opinion on its pros and cons, but hopefully it will be more useful in classsourcing our projects.

Here’s a link to my bibliography: http://goo.gl/mIpldK

Annotated Bibliography

This my initial annotated bibliography for a blog on the tuberculosis epidemic in Russian prisons.

Connor, Walter D.,  ed., Anthony Jones, and David E. Powell. Soviet Social     Problems. Colorado: Westview Press, 1991.

This book is a compilation of articles focused on the denial of social problems in the USSR. Esteemed professors of Russian history and politics wrote all the articles.

Filtzer, Donald. The Hazards of Urban Life in Late Stalinist Russia: Health, Hygiene,        and Living Standards, 1943-1953. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press,        2010. URLhttp://www.amazon.com/Hazards-Urban-Life-Stalinist- Russia/dp/0521113733

This book examines the health care and hygiene conditions in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia. This book will help in my discussion of how tuberculosis spreads. The author is an authority of the subject of Russian history and teaches at the University of East London.

Micheals, Paula A. Curative Powers: Medicine and Empire In Stalin’s Central             Asia. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003.

Soviet officials attempted to improve hygienic practices in Kazakhstan. Dr. Michaels is a European history of medicine professor at Monash University.

Jeremy D. Goldhaber-Fiebert, et al. “Screening And Rapid Molecular Diagnosis Of      Tuberculosis In Prisons In Russia And Eastern Europe: A Cost-Effective    Analysis. (Report).” Plos Medicine 11 (2012).

This article develops a cost-effective method of treatment for tuberculosis and multidrug resistant tuberculosis in Russian prisons. All of the contributors work for various health care institutions in the U.S. and Europe.

Lobacheva, T, T Asikainen, and J Giesecke. “Risk Factors for developing         tuberculosis in remand prisons in St. Petersburg, Russia- a case-control study.”      European Journal Of Epidemiology 22, no. 2 (n.d.): 121-127.         

This study attempts to find all risk factors for developing tuberculosis in remand prisons and spreading of the disease upon release. This article will help in my explanation of what can be done to prevent the spread of tuberculosis in prisons. This study was done by professors at Stockholm University in Sweden.

M McKee, et al. “Prison Health In Russia: The Larger Picture.” Journal Of Public       Health Policy 26.1 (2005): 30-59.

This article focuses on the health issues in Russian prisons and how they can be cured. This will explain what prisons can do to help their inmates stop spreading diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV.



Bibliography for Final Project


My project is on the tuberculosis epidemic in Russian prisons that started in the early 1990s. This epidemic was recognized by the World Health Organization and prevention methods were implanted in 1993, but many prisoners in Russia still have tuberculosis because it is an airborne and overcrowding disease, which makes a cramped prison cell a perfect environment to spread it. This project will hopefully explain why this human rights issue is a relevant topic about sustainability.