You came to the colony



This publication is intended for women prisoners. It should help you answer some of the questions you may have while incarcerated.

The booklet was developed and printed as part of the project "Women and mothers with children in prison" by the State Department of Corrections of Ukraine and the Women's Information and Advisory Center thanks to the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

This is not a book of rules and instructions for behavior in prison. Such rules, orders and instructions must be given to you by the responsible persons at the place of imprisonment.

It should also be noted that some rules, requirements and conditions may change or be different in different institutions. Sometimes the rules change quickly, in which case you will also be informed about it.

The book is intended for all women prisoners, but it is not possible to print enough copies for everyone to have a copy, so we ask that you treat the publication in such a way that it will be enough for many others.

If you do not understand everything from this publication or need more detailed explanations, please contact the staff.



The things you brought with you will be described by the officer who receives you. Some things can be taken with you (the officer will tell you which ones), others will be accepted for safekeeping.

This is called your property.
You will get all this when you leave the colony.
You can go to the bath.
You will receive a personal number and a place where you will sleep.
You will be examined by a doctor from the medical department of the colony.
Please remember to tell your doctor if you have any problems - drugs, alcohol, HIV - or if you need regular medical procedures or medications. You also have to say if you are pregnant. All medical information about you is confidential. It is also important that you are open about your emotional state. This will give the staff the opportunity to provide you with the necessary help and support.
Please tell the medical staff if you feel depressed or panicked, or if you cannot overcome your negative feelings and fears. This will also be considered confidential information.
An officer will take you to your cell or bedroom.
If you did not have a chance to speak with your defense attorney after the trial, tell the intake officer about it. If necessary, they will organize a meeting for you.

If you don't know what to do, the staff should help you.

Remember that other inmates may not always be able to provide you with accurate information.


If you have concerns or problems of any kind, it's good to talk to someone about it. It's probably best to talk to your squad leader first.


During the introductory interview, you will be told about life in prison, the regime, your responsibilities and rights. This follows normal procedure and is intended to help you make the most of your time in prison and prepare for release.

All prisoners who enter prisons for the first time, change their status or move to a new place, go through such a conversation. Its duration can be different and depends on different circumstances. As a rule, the conversation of those who have been imprisoned for the first time is longer.


You can appeal the court decision or apply for early release. It is important to have legal advice for this.

An application for early release may be submitted no earlier than ... from the beginning of the prison term.


The rules regarding visits, letters and phone calls will be explained to you in detail.


If you need childcare while you are incarcerated, discuss this with staff. They will help you get in touch with social services if needed.

If your child is under three years old, you can apply for him to stay with you.

You will be given this opportunity if it is in the best interests of the child.

There are two colonies in Ukraine where children up to the age of three can stay with their mothers. In the Odesa region, this is colony No. 74 (for women who are in prison for the first time), and in Chernihiv region - colony No. 44 (for women who are not in prison for the first time).

Colony No. 44 has a separate house for the mother and child to live together. If you are in this colony, you can apply for joint residence with the child. If it is considered to be in the best interests of the child, then you can be with your child in this house.

Conditions for providing shared accommodation

The decision on the permission for the mother and child to live together is issued by the head of the colony on the basis of recommendations provided by a specially created commission, which will include the head of the unit, a doctor, and a social worker. Other specialists may also be involved, if necessary.

Each case is considered individually to determine whether such a decision would be in the best interests of the child.

If you are denied, you can appeal to ... to prove that you can take the best care of the child and give him everything that will serve him best 

m interests.

If your child or children are not in prison with you, but live with their father, relatives or friends, they can also visit you.

In some colonies you can have longer visits with your children.

If children are in foster care, their foster (temporary) parents can also bring them to visit.

When you first arrive at the place of detention

There may be a problem with your property. You must take steps to return home after your release. Think about the following things:

Payment of rent of premises or fee for its use
Payment of utility services
Other regular fees
Perhaps, …


When you leave the place of imprisonment, all your property must be returned to you. You will also receive money for travel to your place of residence.


Today there are many foundations that provide clothing for those leaving prisons. You should ask the social worker and take care of clothes and shoes. If you refuse clothes and shoes that are offered to you, you must explain why.


You have to get documents (?) for travel to your place of residence. …


When you leave the place of imprisonment, you must sign that all your property and the money you left for safekeeping have been returned to you. Also, you should receive all the salary that is due to you. It is important that you check everything and do not sign if something is missing from what is listed in it.


You will pass a medical examination. If you are sick, you can ask to be left until you recover (?), but the final decision rests with the head of the colony and the doctor. If you are unable to travel home alone, you can ask relatives and friends to accompany you, and if this is not possible, you will be accompanied by someone from the institution's staff.


Using "street drugs" is always dangerous. If you used substitution therapy while incarcerated, you should remember that their effect is much weaker, and therefore you may be at risk of overdose.

If you want to stop using drugs, you can go to public organizations that try to help with this.



As a rule, dismissal takes place before ... hours. If the day of dismissal falls on a Saturday or Sunday, then ...

On the day of release, you will receive breakfast.


If you do not have a place to live after your release, there are various organizations - governmental and non-governmental - that can help you with this. …

There are organizations that directly help those who have been released from prisons...

You can contact the probation officer (?) or other staff at the institution for details, but this does not guarantee that you will definitely be able to get housing after release.