Correctional Labor Law

Correctional Labor Law


the branch of socialist law that regulates the mode and conditions of criminal punishment and of the reeducation of the sentenced persons through correctional labor. In other words, correctional labor law regulates the social relations that arise in the process and on the occasion of the fulfillment of all types of sentences. The object of correctional labor law in the USSR is determined by the Basic Principles of Correctional Labor Legislation of the USSR and the Union Republics, which states that the task of correctional labor legislation is to ensure that criminal punishment is carried out. This legislation sets forth the principles and general propositions governing the fulfillment and serving of all types of criminal punishment set by the court. In addition, correctional labor codes and other laws of the USSR and of the Union republics also regulate the mode and conditions of different kinds of criminal punishment and the reeducation of the sentenced persons through correctional labor.

Correctional labor law is closely related to criminal law and to the law of criminal procedure. Since all these branches of law serve the general task of combating crime, correctional labor law is governed by the fundamental principles of criminal law. However, although these branches of law have common tasks and basic principles, they have different objectives, because they regulate different social relations: criminal law determines the goal, content, and type of punishment and regulates the conditions of pronouncing the sentence and of release from punishment by the court, whereas correctional labor law determines the mode and conditions of the fulfillment and serving of the sentences.

Correctional labor law is also closely related to correctional labor pedagogy and psychology, which are specialized branches of pedagogy and psychology, because the execution of punishment implies, in addition to punishment in the narrow sense of the term, the application of a whole set of pedagogical and psychological techniques, means, and methods of reeducation.

Correctional labor law began developing as a separate branch of law in the first years of Soviet power. The provisional instruction of the People’s Commissariat of Justice of the entitled RSFSR entitled On Deprivation of Freedom as a Measure of Punishment and on the Modes of Serving Such Sentences, which was adopted in 1918, was the first normative act regulating the activity of correctional labor institutions. V. I. Lenin played a major role in working out the fundamental principles of corrective labor policy. In a number of his works he drew attention to such principles as a differentiated approach to different categories of criminals, a humane treatment of the convicts, and the use of a variety of means of reeducation. These propositions were developed in subsequent legislative acts on correctional labor law. The decisions of the Twentieth, Twenty-second, and Twenty-third Congresses of the CPSU set the tasks of strengthening socialist legality and law and order, intensifying ideological and educational work, developing Soviet democracy, and raising the role of the public in the fight to eradicate crime. Normative acts regulating the mode of carrying out sentences were adopted between 1954 and 1961.

The Basic Principles of Correctional Labor Legislation of the USSR and the Union Republics, adopted in July 1969, was the most important phase in the development of correctional labor law. This legislation constitutes an all-Union law determining the principles and establishing the general propositions of the fulfillment and serving of criminal punishment. The adoption of correctional labor codes of the Union republics was equally important in this respect. The science of correctional labor law has been widely developed in the USSR. This science studies the norms of this branch of law and the social relations this law regulates, and it also deals with the social and economic laws that determine the development of the system of correctional labor bodies, the fulfillment of sentences, and the effectiveness of the correctional labor bodies, drawing general conclusions from its studies.


Ispravite’no-trudovoe pravo.Moscow, 1966.
Sbornik normativnykh aklov po sovetskomu ispranlel’no-trudovomu pram (1917–1959 gg.).Moscow, 1959.


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