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 White paper on crime 2004 Part2/Chapter5/Section2/1. 

Section2 Parole

1. Overview of parole

(1) Type of parole

  Parole in Japan is the general term for the system whereby inmates in penal institutions,juvenile training schools or women's guidance homes are released under certain conditions before the completion of their terms of confinement to enable them to rehabilitate themselves.There are four types of parole,as follows:(1) parole of inmates sentenced to imprisonment with or without labor;(2) provisional release of penal detainees or fine defaulters in workhouses;(3) provisional discharge of juveniles in juvenile training schools; and(4) provisional discharge of women in women's guidance homes. Those parolees discharged from prisons,juvenile training schools and women's guidance homes are put under supervision,and if they violate parole conditions or repeat offenses,their parole will be revoked.Those granted provisional release from workhouses are not put under supervision,and their parole will not be revoked.
  This section will give an overview of parole for prison inmates.
  As for parole from juvenile training schools,see Part4,Chapter2,Section6-1 .

(2) Examination of parole

  Three members of a Regional Parole Board form a council.Upon receiving an application for parole of an inmate from a warden of a correctional institution,the council starts the process of parole examination by entrusting the actual examination to an appointed member(referred to as"chief examiner"in this chapter).In principle,the chief examiner interviews the inmate or detainee in question and examines issues such as(1)whether granting parole is appropriate,(2)the timing of parole,and(3)special conditions to be observed during the parole period.Based on the results of the examination,the Regional Board makes a decision on whether parole is to be granted,through deliberation.

(3) Requirements for parole

  Parole may be granted to an inmate sentenced to imprisonment with or without labor who shows an attitude derived from repentance,after serving the statutory term,i.e.1/3rd of the limited term of sentence or10years of a life imprisonment(see Part4,Chapter2,Section1for special provisions under the Juvenile Law).
  With respect to"attitude derived from repentance,"the following four items are judged comprehensively:(1)whether he/she shows signs of remorse for his/her offense,(2)whether he/she shows a willingness to reform him/herself,(3)whether he/she shows no likelihood of repeating offenses,and(4)whether the sentiment of the society will approve him/her being granted parole.Parole is finally granted when it is deemed to be reasonable,based on those judgments,to put on parole supervision for his/her reform and rehabilitation.