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1. Significance and history
Prisoners return to society after completing their sentence.However,many of them do not have family members or relatives on whom they can depend or a place of next abode after release.Parolees and probationers under supervision,if necessary,can receive rehabilitative assistance during supervision.Meanwhile,those prisoners released on completion of their sentence are not under supervision or other community-based treatment,and are not subject to any assistance.There are some prisoners whose next abode is not fixed during their stay in prisons and who are released from prisons not on parole.When such prisoners suffer from problems such as illness,injury,or lack of a proper abode or occupation,and when they cannot receive necessary support from public welfare organizations,a measure may be taken immediately to prevent them from repeating offenses and to guide them toward becoming good citizens.This measure is called urgent aftercare of discharged offenders.
In the prewar period,private volunteers undertook aftercare of this type as charitable work.However,the Law for Aftercare of Discharged Offenders was enforced in1950and stipulated that the government offers rehabilitation services to released offenders with previous convictions.The Law was abolished in1996after the enforcement of the Law for Offenders Rehabilitation Services,and urgent aftercare-related provisions in the Law for Aftercare of Discharged Offenders were incorporated into the Offenders Rehabilitation Law.In2002,the Offenders Rehabilitation Law was amended so as to slightly expand the scope of targeted offenders and permit a prolonged length of care under certain conditions.