RFE/RL but these items back to back. Is it possible the increase in imprisoned Russians, could be a result of a drunker Russian population?
PRISON POPULATION GROWS. Yury Kalinin, who heads the Federal Corrections Service, said on April 6 that "the total number of prison inmates in Russia increased by almost 50,000 in 2006." He added "there was a further increase of 12,000 in January and February 2007." He acknowledged that "pretrial detention centers are overcrowded. That's because arrests are a broadly used measure, even for minor offenses." He stressed that "we are doing all we can to make prisons as transparent as possible." He added, however, that rights activists, if allowed to visit prisons, "start inventing things." (Start inventing things like murder, rape, hunger, and a 100 percent drug resistant TB infection rate)
ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION RISES 3FOLD IN 15 YEARS. The consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said on April 9 that "annual per capita alcohol consumption in Russia has almost tripled since the 1990s and amounts to around 15 liters." The agency noted that increased consumption of alcoholic substances such as cleaning fluids and perfumes has greatly contributed to the rise. Low-alcohol beverages, including beer, have become more popular in recent years, but vodka sales have not been affected. The authorities are particularly concerned about rising alcohol consumption by teens and women.