Corrective-Labor Code

Corrective-Labor Code (Виправно-трудовий кодекс; Vypravno-trudovyi kodeks). Body of legal norms that defined the forms, methods, means, and regime of activities of Soviet corrective-labor institutions (see Forced labor, Labor camps, Penitentiary system). The first corrective-labor code of the Ukrainian SSR was adopted in 1925 and was almost a literal translation of the 1924 code of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic. A new code, which introduced the ‘corrective-labor camp’ as the principal institution of re-education, was adopted in the RSFSR in 1933. Beginning with the period of collectivization, forced-labor camps, which supplied state enterprises with cheap labor, were set up throughout the country. Their operation was regulated by various secret decrees of the People's Commissariat (NKVD), and later Ministry (MVD), of Internal Affairs, and came under the supervision of the Chief Administration of Corrective Labor Camps (GULAG). In 1971 the new corrective-labor code, which was based on the Foundations of the Corrective Labor Legislation of the USSR and the Constituent Republics of 1969 and was very similar to the RSFSR code, was introduced in Ukraine. It defined the various forms of criminal punishment—deprivation of freedom, internal exile, banishment abroad, corrective labor without deprivation of freedom—and how they were to be fulfilled. The term ‘corrective-labor colony’ replaced the term ‘camp.’ There were four types of colonies, with regimes of different severity. Convicted persons were sentenced to one type or another depending on the seriousness of their crime, their past record, and so on. There were separate colonies for political prisoners and juveniles. (See also Concentration camps.)

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]

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