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 White paper on crime 2004 Part5/Chapter4/Section1/2. 

2. Guidance for prisoners to be released

  (1)While probation offices are carrying out environmental adjustment during the period when prisoners serve their sentences,prisons provide guidance for those prisoners to be released soon.It aims to eliminate prisoners worries about their livelihood after release.As the final stage of correctional treatment,it spends a certain period prior to release preparing for their return to society,in order to ensure their willingness for reform and rehabilitation.
  (2)In the past,each prison programs pre-release guidance.However,since official instructions were issued in1994to standardize the length and contents of guidance,it has been provided in accordance with the instructions.In principle,the length is two weeks for those prisoners to be released on parole,and one week for those to be released on completion of their sentence.It is expected to be implemented in a well-planned contents and methods suitable for each prisoner.
  (3)Those prisoners to be released on parole are transferred to semi-open buildings or residences with names such as Kibo(Hope)House,Seishi(Stillness)House,and Akebono(Daybreak)House,and stay there during pre-release guidance.The interiors of the buildings resemble ordinary houses more than a prison.The programs provide(i)simulations of daily life that resemble in a free society as closely as possible;(ii)knowledge necessary for daily life immediately after release;(iii)knowledge and information about employment after their release;(iv)knowledge about the parole system and other rehabilitation services.

Dormitories for pre-release guidance

  In the program,educational videos,tutorial texts,and other teaching materials are used,and efforts are made to gain the cooperation and support of related public and private organizations and volunteers.In particular,in order to achieve a smooth transition from institutional treatment to community-based treatment,probation officers and volunteer probation officers visit prisons to give lectures on parole system and urgent aftercare for discharged offenders,or prisoners often visit probation offices and halfway houses as part of field trips,led by prison staff.
"Pre-release guidance by probation offices"
  Probation offices cooperate in pre-release guidance for those prisoners granted parole.In the Tokyo Probation Office,probation officers give lectures on parole and the urgent aftercare for discharged offenders and hold Q sessions thereafter in a small group of several prisoners.Prisoners to be released soon have questions,for example,what to do if they cannot get along with their guarantors,when and how to offer apologies to their crime victims,or what to do until the day when they apply for an amnesty at some point considering their children's future.Probation officers support the prisoners by giving advice on these questions and concerns.