White paper on crime 2010 Part2/Chapter4/Section2/3
Penal institutions request volunteer visitors to interview those imprisoned and provide them with guidance and advice that is based on their professional knowledge and experience when needed. The content of that guidance and advice can range from mental concerns, families, employment, and future life plans through to hobbies and culture. As of the end of 2009 there were 1,184 volunteer visitors, 444 of whom were specialists in education, literature, and arts, 135 in rehabilitation services, 84 in law (legal professionals), 239 in religion, commerce and industry, and social welfare, and 282 in other areas. Of the total of 13,784 voluntary visits made in 2009, 7,420 were in regard to hobbies and culture, etc., 2,868 families and employment, etc., and 1,467 mental concerns, etc. (Source: The Correction Bureau, Ministry of Justice).
Penal institutions can freely request chaplains (private religious volunteers) to provide religious services and instruction (mental relief through sutra recitation and lectures, etc.) and make the effort to enable persons imprisoned to participate in those services and receive instruction according to their own personal wishes. As of the end of 2009 there were 1,688 chaplains who had provided services/instruction, a total of 9,873 times to groups and 9,048 times to individuals in 2009 (Source: The Correction Bureau, Ministry of Justice).