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 White paper on crime 2003 Part 2/Chap.4/Sec.3/3 

3 Educational activities

  Educational activities in penal institutions consist of guidance and training on start of imprisonment, guidance and support prior to release, academic education, correspondence courses, and life guidance. Those activities are implemented both inside and outside the institutions and play a major role in achieving the reform and social rehabilitation of inmates.
   Table 2-4-3-4 shows the educational activities outside institutions in 2002.

Table 2-4-3-4 Educational activities outside institutions (2002)

(1) Guidance and training on commencement of imprisonment

  The period of guidance and training on start of imprisonment is generally around 14 days. During this period, efforts are made to give offenders newly imprisoned mental stability and motivation to reform and rehabilitate themselves. New inmates are also given explanation of the meaning of the execution of their sentence, the purpose, system, and contents of their treatment, and other matters as well as various training needed for communal living, with the aim of helping the inmates understand the proper way of living and behaving inside the institution.

(2) Academic education

  Academic education is geared toward those inmates who have not completed compulsory education or who have low academic ability despite having completed compulsory education, and includes lessons or supplementary lessons in Japanese language, mathematics, social studies and other necessary subjects. At Matsumoto Juvenile Prison, in particular, a branch of the local junior high school has been set up for those eligible inmates from all over the country who have not completed compulsory education. In March 2003, 6 inmates who completed these courses and were given certificates of graduation (Source: Data by Correction Bureau, Ministry of Justice). At Morioka, Matsumoto, and Nara Juvenile Prisons correspondence courses of senior high school are provided with the cooperation of local public schools. Further, at Kawagoe Juvenile Prison and several other prisons, inmates wishing to go to university can receive guidance on the University Entrance Qualification Examinations, and measures are taken to help them take the exams.
  In 2002, 4,192 inmates took academic education. Of these 692 had not completed compulsory education, 2,038 had only completed compulsory education, 572 had dropped out of senior high schools, and 553 had graduated from senior high schools (Source: Data by Correction Bureau, Ministry of Justice).

(3) Correspondence courses

  Correspondence courses are provided with a view to improving inmates' general education as well as their vocational knowledge and skills. Participants are divided into publicly financed students for whom the state covers all costs needed for the education and self-financing students who cover the costs themselves.
  In FY 2002, 3,100 inmates took the correspondence courses such as bookkeeping, calligraphy, penmanship, English, computers, and other subjects (Source: Data by Correction Bureau, Ministry of Justice).

(4) Life guidance

  Life guidance is designed to raise self-awareness of inmates, enable them to acquire well-regulatedliving habits and incentive to work, nurture their attitudes, habits, knowledge, etc. for in the community life. As well as participating in group activities, club activities, and various meetings in their daily lives in the institutions, inmates receive lectures, reading guidance, and counseling both individually and in groups. Inmates are grouped based on their offenses and the factors that led them to criminal behavior, and given lectures, group discussion opportunities, group counseling and other programs (guidance depending on type of treatment). In particular, guidance aimed at preventing stimulant drug abuse is conducted in nearly all institutions. Also are conducted education on alcohol abuse, guidance for withdrawal from organized crime groups, and traffic safety guidance, etc..

(5) Guidance and support prior to release

  For inmates who are about to be released, measures are taken to ease their anxiety about their life after release, establish future prospects, achieve a smooth transition to life in society, and improve motivation for reform and rehabilitation. To this end, guidance and support prior to release are conducted in a planned and organized manner that suit individual inmates.
  The length of guidance and support prior to release is, in principle, 2 weeks for inmates parole and 1 week for those whose release is imminent on completion of their sentences. In addition to information that will be needed for daily life immediately after release, information on the parole system and other rehabilitation services, guidance and support necessary to return home and make a living are provided. In the program, efforts are made to gain the cooperation of related public and private organizations and volunteers in accordance with the contents.