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1 Enhancement of treatment according to the problems of inmates/probationers/parolees(1) Special guidance for reform at penal institutions
Since the Inmates Treatment Act (Penal Detention Facilities Act) came into effect in May 2006, inmates have been provided with the guidance (guidance for reform) that is necessary to make them aware of the responsibility they bear for the offenses they committed, to foster sound minds and bodies, and to train them to acquire the knowledge and attitudes necessary in adapting to social life at penal institutions. In providing such guidance, special consideration needs to be given to inmates who will face difficulties in the course of their reform and rehabilitation or smooth reintegration into society due to certain circumstances, such as being dependent on drugs or a Boryokudan member, etc. It must be ensured that the guidance contributes to the improvement of those circumstances. Six types of guidance (special guidance for reform), namely guidance for overcoming drug addiction, guidance for withdrawal from Boryokudan, guidance for prevention of repeat offense for sex offenders, education from the victims’ viewpoints, traffic safety guidance, and employment support guidance are currently being implemented (See (2) of Subsection 3, Section 3, Chapter 4, Part2).
Table 7-4-1-1 shows the implementation status of special guidance for reform in FY 2008.
Table 7-4-1-1 Implementation status of special guidance for reform (2008)
Actual situation in guidance for overcoming drug addiction
Guidance for overcoming drug addiction aims at helping inmates with a narcotic, stimulants, or other drug dependence to understand the problems they have with drug use and determine to live without using drugs, and encouraging them to think about specific methods for preventing relapses.
Group meetings are being introduced at penal institutions in cooperation with private self-help groups, etc. to enable inmates to think of their experiences and the influences of drug abuse. Efforts are also being made to enhance content and methods of guidance by combining methods such as lectures, watching/listening to audiovisual teaching materials, and learning various tasks, etc.
(2) Enhancement of educational guidance, etc. at penal institutions and juvenile training schools
Inmates in penal institutions and juveniles in juvenile training schools, who have not completed compulsory education, etc. are being provided with basic educational guidance / school courses. In addition, education, etc. equivalent to the content of high school courses is being provided to anyone for whom enhanced academic abilities would be considered particularly beneficial in contributing to their smooth reintegration into society. Since FY 2007 the examination for the Certificate for Students Achieving the Proficiency Level of Upper Secondary School Graduates (high school graduate equivalency examination) has been conducted at penal institutions and juvenile training schools through cooperation between the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. The intention is to raise the motivation of inmates, etc. to study, and to facilitate their reformation/rehabilitation and smooth reintegration into society by giving advantages for their further education and employment, etc. options as a result of having passed the examination. In addition, four penal institutions have been designated as special guidance institutions for the said examination. Private specialists with teaching certificates have been placed at these institutions and inmates, including those imprisoned at other penal institutions, are being provided with active guidance on taking the said examination (See (3) of Subsection 3, Section 3, Chapter 4, Part 2 and (3) c. of Subsection 2, Section 4, Chapter 2, Part 4).
(3) Specialized treatment programs for probationers/parolees
The amendment of the Act on Probationary Supervision of Persons under Suspension of execution of the sentence that took place in September 2006 enabled special conditions to be provided not only for parolees but also for probationers. This was then succeeded by the Offenders Rehabilitation Act that came into effect in June 2008. Under this Act parolees and probationers who meet certain conditions are obliged to take a sexual offender treatment program, stimulants offender treatment program, or violence prevention program, which are specialized treatment programs based on theories of cognitive behavioral therapy implemented to correct their criminal tendencies (See (1) of Subsection 2, Section 2, Chapter 5, Part 2).
Actual conditions in the stimulants offender treatment program
The stimulants offender treatment program is a specialized treatment program consisted of quick drug screen testing (urine tests or saliva tests using simple reagents) with the aim of strengthening/sustaining the decision of offenders to stop using stimulants, and education courses (five in total) that mainly aim at enabling offenders to develop concrete methods of preventing relapses.
Offenders must visit a probation office on the specified date/time, usually once every two weeks, and participate in the program, which is implemented by probation officers.
Quick drug screen testing may also be taken voluntarily by anyone not obliged to participate in the program as a special condition for their probation/parole supervision (including anyone that has completed the courses of the program) if necessary.