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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Amnesty Extended

MOSCOW -- Russia plans to release as many as 300,000 inmates over the next 18 months as part of a plan to reduce chronic prison overcrowding, the Justice Minister said Tuesday.

Russia has more than 1 million inmates, giving it one of the largest prison populations in the world. The prisoners are packed into tiny cells and diseases such as tuberculosis spread unchecked.

Justice Minister Pavel Krasheninnikov said the releases should range from 200,000 to 300,000 and would be spread over 12 to 18 months.

Parliament approved an amnesty last month of nearly 100,000 inmates.