Ceremony for presenting the banner of the Federal Penitentiary Service 2011-01-13 14:15:00 The Kremlin, Moscow Dmitry Medvedev presented the banner of the Federal Penitentiary Service of the Russian Federation to the agency's head Alexander Reimer. The ceremony took place in St George Hall at the Grand Kremlin Palace. * * * President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Ladies and gentlemen, Today I will present the banner of the Federal Penitentiary Service and I want to warmly congratulate all those present on this momentous occasion. Since its inception, the Service has played its own special role in protecting the interests of Russian citizens, society and state. The Service enforces laws and full compliance with court decisions. Its best officers are an example of professionalism and responsibility. Modern Russia is building a legal and democratic state, which is why it is vital to pay the closest attention to crime prevention and the development of legislation, including criminal laws, criminal procedure laws, and penal laws. This creates particular challenges for the Service. The Concept of Russia’s Correctional System Development until 2020 was adopted on October 14, 2010. It is a fundamental document that sets out the basic principles and development priorities for the next decade. It is an important and extensive document, and it must be implemented. The concept’s priorities include improving the efficiency of institutions and agencies in charge of executing sentences; their modernisation and re-equipment, which is undoubtedly overdue, must be continued. It is also essential to implement modern standards of treatment of prisoners and improve conditions in correctional facilities, create additional guarantees for the protection of their rights, including the right to personal safety, and simply make greater use of modern approaches and techniques, including international experience of criminal punishment. I will not talk platitudes, you know perfectly well what to do, what are the strengths of the system and what are its obvious flaws. Your task for the coming years is to tackle these flaws in line with the concept. The most important aspect of this work is to return prisoners to normal life, their rehabilitation, but it is also the most difficult part. I hope that it will be easier to achieve these objectives working on the basis of the new documents. If necessary, we will adopt new documents, ones that will better reflect today's realities and approaches to the development of the correctional system. I mean legislation, first of all. Comrades, I hope that members of the Federal Penitentiary Service will do everything to address these tasks and will perform their duties successfully. Once again, I sincerely congratulate you all on this landmark event in the Service’s development. I wish you success and health and well-being to your families. Let us begin the ceremony. Director of The Federal Penitentiary Service Alexander Reimer: Mr President, I would like to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude for this great honour. This day will have a special place in the history of the Federal Service. I assure you that we will keep and honour the relic entrusted to us as a symbol of the state’s confidence in the Federal Service. More than 300,000 officers of the penitentiary system greatly appreciate your attention to the agencies and institutions executing sentences. As I accept the banner, I assure you, Mr President, that the staff of the Federal Penitentiary Service will successfully tackle the tasks of reforming the penal system and strengthening law and order for the prosperity of our great Motherland.