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Prison Staff to Keep Expense-Paid Vacations

The Federal Prison Service denied on Monday that it planned to ditch a major perk of working for the Russian prison system — travel-expense-paid trips to exotic places like Cuba for vacation.

Current legislation allows prison employees to receive reimbursement for plane and train tickets or gasoline expenses after a vacation, regardless of the cost. But a Federal Prison Service official told RIA-Novosti on Sunday that the practice would be abolished starting next year.

"Employees already have been informed about the plans to give up the practice. Everyone's decided to use their reimbursed vacations now and travel to faraway countries, for example, Cuba," the official said.

But prison service spokesman Alexander Kromin denied any change Monday, saying his agency would continue to reimburse its employees for vacation-related travel regardless of where they went, RIA-Novosti reported.

No information is available on where the prison officials spend their vacations and how much the trips cost taxpayers. The Federal Prison Service has some 346,000 employees, compared with 649,000 inmates nationwide.

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