The phrase sharashkina office (or sharaga) arose in lively colloquial speech, as a symbol of an unreliable and suspicious enterprise or organization that should not be contacted. And the origins of this expression take their roots from the prison jargon of the USSR.
The word "sharashka" comes from the dialectal "sharan" - trash, rabble, crooks. So the prisoners called the research institutes and design bureaus of the prison type, subordinate to the NKVD / Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR, in which scientists, engineers and technicians worked out their punishment. In the NKVD system, they were called "special technical bureaus" (OTB), "special design bureaus" (OKB) and similar abbreviations with numbers.
The conditions of detention of workers did not differ much from those in prison, and for failure to fulfill the plan, it was not the loss of the bonus that threatened them, but a new term or execution.
Many outstanding Soviet scientists and designers have passed through the sharashka. The main direction of the OTB was the development of military and special (used by special services) equipment. Many new models of military equipment and weapons in the USSR were created by sharashek prisoners.