Why Brittney Griner is in Prison? Is She a Prison Basketball Coach? A penal colony is a type of prison or jail where prisoners are confined. Despite US efforts to secure Brittney Griner’s release through a prisoner swap, the WNBA athlete is currently serving a nine-year sentence in a Russian jail colony. Griner’s case has been followed by Ivan Melnikov, deputy president of the Russian Department of the International Human Rights Defense Committee, who recently explained to PEOPLE what Griner can expect in the penal colony.
Russia’s equivalent of a jail or prison, a penal colony is a place where prisoners are kept. Of the 692 prisons in Russia in 2021, 684 were penal camps. According to Melnikov, there are 35 women’s prison colonies in Russia that are home to over 60,000 convicts.
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Brittney Griner Prison Conditions
According to Melnikov, the jail governor determines how rigorous and brutal each penal colony is. Some governors, according to him, are stricter than others. While Melnikov couldn’t say which prison colony Griner was in, he did say that some of them are in poor conditions.
Some prison colonies have a high tuberculosis rate, and the lack of food causes malnutrition among the inmates. Prisoners rely on food and toiletries sent by friends and family to help them live because of the poor medical care available to them, but not everyone has that luxury.
Is Brittney Griner a Prison Basketball Coach?
According to Melnikov, prisoners receive a minimum payment of $180 per month, which they spend in the prison store. Additionally, they can pay to send emails online. Melnikov hopes that Griner moves to a colony where the governor will allow her to coach basketball despite having to work eight hours a day cleaning, cooking, or serving food.
If you think Russia sentencing Brittney Griner to prison for cannabis is wild, wait until you hear about the U.S. prison system
— Dan Price (@DanPriceSeattle) August 4, 2022
There is precedent because several Russian soccer players who were housed in a prison colony also trained prisoners. There is no silver lining to coaching basketball in a Russian prison colony. To return Griner home as quickly as possible, the US administration must carry out a prisoner swap.
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