After being incarcerated, prisoners become a part of a local community, being identified in one of three large groups: «cronies», «muzhiki (men)» or «obizhenny'ye» («offended»). The most difficult life is for people from the lowest level of prison cast system. In addition to the burdens of prison's life the «offended» are subjected to discrimination and indignity from inmates.
They are called in different ways: «roosters
», «fagots», «lowered
» or «omitted
». Both in pre-trial detention centers and zones or «at large» these words are considered abusive. In cameras the «lowered» sometimes sleep under a shkonka
(a bed), they use separate perforated utensils, they don't have the right to sit at a common table or touch other people's things. They perform the most dirty work: dusting, washing, cleaning the toilet bowls, etc.. They are deprived of the right to express their opinions. According to experts, about 40% of the «offended» are «workers», that means they are forced to have sex.
The subject of internal hierarchy in detention sites remains taboo and respectively low-probed. And if we can still hear about the abuses of the FPS officers, the human rights defenders and lawyers almost never talk about the daily discrimination of some prisoners by others. Some perceive it as a necessary inevitable evil, others try to avoid a «slippery» theme.
In Russia as of August 1, 2018 there were 587,111 people in the institutions of the penitentiary system. Almost 47,000 of them were women. Our heroes
and experts believe that up to 70% of prisoners in male prisons can use the services of the «offended». According to the experts, at least 10-15% of male prisoners refer to the «offended», which means that their total number can reach 80 thousand people. Prohibited and often unprotected sex generates as the spread of HIV as psychological and even psychiatric problems of those who are almost daily abused sexually.
The worst thing is that the «offended» rarely understand their rights. After release most of ex-offended keep silence about the horrors they experienced in prison. Therefore the theme hasn't publicized widely.