Stukanov V.G.

Title of article

Legal conscience of the person sentenced to life imprisonment as the object of correction (on the example of the Republic of Belarus)


Penitentiary system

Issue, year

4 (34) 2015


The condition of social prevention of crime is legal education involving the formation of person’s legal conscience, the most important direction of which is convicts correction. Execution of penalty by life imprisonment doesn’t achieve the purpose of correction. According to law, every person sentenced to life imprisonment has a chance to be released, that causes the corrective nature of serving this punishment. The correction object should be the person’s legal conscience, the subject should be its characteristics determining the direction of social and legal behavior: evaluating attitude to law, lawful and unlawful behavior, subjects of such behavior, social values protected by law, law enforcement agencies, performing a civic duty to participate in law and order maintenance, as well as social and legal expectations. These characteristics became the subject of empirical research conducted in the institutions of the penitentiary system of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus. The peculiarities of legal conscience of people serving life imprisonment (characteristics forming defects of legal conscience) are revealed: they tend to seem more socially attractive; emphasize the need for compliance with legal regulations under all circumstances; believe in high crime rate in society; perceive the significant part of citizens as subjects of crime; attach great importance to criminal ways of satisfying their needs and resolving life’s problems; consider themselves well legally trained; their legal self-esteem is not adequate; social and legal expectations are focused on avoiding criminal liability in future; attitude to law enforcement agencies is extremely negative. These features of legal conscience are the subject of educational and psychological correction.


convicts, legal conscience, social and legal behavior, defects of legal conscience.


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