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2. Development of rehabilitation services
In Japan,probation/parole supervision is implemented through collaboration between probation officers and voluntary probation officers.Probation officers are full-time governmental officers engaged in probation/parole supervision,with expertise in rehabilitation services such as psychology,education,and sociology.On the other hand,voluntary probation officers have the status of part-time governmental officers but they are in effect volunteers who provide offenders with necessary guidance and support while making use of their own resources.This collaborative system of the expertise of probation officers and the local and nongovernmental nature of volunteer probation officers aims to bring about more effective treatment of offenders than achieved only by either party.
In connection with it,from the perspective of making more effective use of probation officers'expertise,the classified treatment system was introduced in1971.Under this system,probationers and parolees are divided into"Class A"or"Class B"depending on the difficulty of their treatment,and the degree of direct involvement of probation officers varies depending on the classes.
Other measures have also been taken to achieve effective probation/parole supervision through diversification of the treatment modality,including the intermediate treatment system for long-term sentenced parolees under which long-term sentenced parolees are accommodated in halfway houses for a certain period to engage in training for social rehabilitation so that they will smoothly integrate themselves into society(introduced in1979),the categorized treatment system whereby probationers and parolees are divided into certain categories so as to implement effective treatment focusing on the problems and characteristics of each category(introduced in1990),and the simplified urine check system for stimulant drug offenders who have served their sentence under the Stimulant Drug Control Law and released on parole,at their request,with the objective of supporting their efforts to quit using drugs(introduced in2004).
In the operation of parole,the initiatives for appropriate and active operation of parole were launched in1984,for the purpose of granting parole to those who satisfy the requirements to the greatest possible extent to provide them with opportunities for rehabilitation,and extending the period of parole as appropriate to secure a sufficient time for parole supervision as required for bringing about the effect of community-based treatment.
The recent major legislative measures include the establishment of the Law for Offenders Rehabilitation Services(Law No.86of1995)and the abolition of the Law for Aftercare of Discharged Offenders(in1996).Under the old law,halfway houses had been operated by"rehabilitation associations,"most of which had been public-interest corporations under the Civil Code.Upon the enforcement of the Law for Offenders Rehabilitation Services,these associations have been reorganized into judicial persons for rehabilitation services that have the same legal status as judicial persons for social welfare.Furthermore,the Law for Aftercare of Discharged Offenders was abolished accordingly,and the provisions concerning rehabilitation services under the law are included in the Offenders Rehabilitation Law.In2002,the amendment was made to the Law for Offenders Rehabilitation Services,aiming to actively use halfway houses as places for the treatment of offenders.