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 White paper on crime 2004 Part2/Chapter4/Section3/2. 

2. Prison work

(1) Overview

  Prison work is mainly carried out by the inmates sentenced to imprisonment with labor and fine defaulters in workhouses,who are obliged to engage in work under the Penal Code.In addition,some voluntary work is also undertaken by the inmates sentenced to imprisonment without labor,inmates awaiting trial and others,who are not obliged to engage in work.As of March31,2004,87.3%of the inmates sentenced to imprisonment without labor and0.3%of the inmates awaiting trial etc.were engaged in voluntary work(Source:Data by Correction Bureau,Ministry of Justice).
  The primary purpose of prison work is to nurture a willingness to work among inmates,teach them vocational knowledge and skills,and develop their endurance and concentration.The forms of prison work are divided,according to their nature and purpose,into production work,vocational training,and work for sustaining institutions.The work to sustain the operations of an institution includes cooking,laundry,and cleaning(maintenance work),and construction work such as repair of the buildings of the institution.Categories in the production work include woodwork,printing,tailoring,metalwork etc.An inmate is assigned to a work category in accordance with his/her individual aptitude.Prison work is carried out not only inside penal institutions,but also in outside work sites under the management of a prison and in ordinary work sites with the cooperation of private companies.There are two forms in outside work-"residential work"for which inmates stay overnight at the work site and"commuting work"for which inmates travel to the work site from a penal institution.The types of outside work are mainly agriculture,livestock farming,and shipbuilding etc.

(2) Working conditions

  The working hours of inmates in prison work are eight hours per day and40hours per week with Saturdays,Sundays,national holidays,and year-end and new-year holidays off.To improve the working environment,safety and health of inmates,measures are taken in line with the principles of the Labor Standards Law,the Industrial Safety and Health Law,and others.
  In FY2003,the average daily number of inmates engaged in prison work was about57,700,and the amount of revenue from prison work was about¥7.26billion(Source:Data by Correction Bureau,Ministry of Justice).
  All revenue from prison work becomes national revenue,and work remuneration is paid to those who engage in the work.The work remuneration is benevolence from the state rather than as a wage for labor,and in principle paid to an inmate upon his/her release.The(budgeted)average monthly remuneration per inmate in FY2003was¥4,150(Source:Data by Correction Bureau,Ministry of Justice).For28,170inmates released in2003,30.0%of them received more than50,000yen of the work remuneration,while20.5%of them received10,000yen or less(Source:Annual Report of Statistics on Correction).
  Inmates are also allowed to engage in personal work in their spare time under certain conditions to yield income.As of March31,2004,133inmates were engaged in such work,yielding an average monthly income of¥3,448per inmate(Source:Data by Correction Bureau,Ministry of Justice).

(3) Vocational training

  Vocational training is designed to teach inmates the skills needed for vocations or to improve their already-acquired skills.There are two kinds of training:professional training,in which inmates receive technical training to enable them to obtain official qualifications,licenses or advanced skills;and standard training to acquire vocational knowledge and skills that will help them achieve smooth social rehabilitation.
  There are three forms of vocational training,namely general training,group training,and internal training.General training is implemented for eligible inmates,who were selected from penal institutions nationwide,in seven designated facilities(the Yamagata,Fukui and Yamaguchi Prisons as well as the Hakodate,Kawagoe,Nara and Saga Juvenile Prisons).Group training and internal training are implemented in each Regional Correction Headquarters and in each facility respectively,selecting eligible inmates.In FY2003,there are19group training facilities and26internal training facilities(Source:Data by Correction Bureau,Ministry of Justice).
  Vocational training is given on21topics,including welding,electrical engineering,car maintenance,construction,plate making up/printing,woodcraft,construction machinery,and nursing services.In FY2003,1,876inmates completed vocational training,and obtained a total of2,214qualifications or licenses as welding technicians,electricians,auto mechanics,and so forth(Source:Data by Correction Bureau,Ministry of Justice).