Previous     Next            Index     Image Index     Year Selection
 White paper on crime 2003 Part 2/Chap.5/Sec.2/1 

Section 2 Parole

1 Overview of parole

(1) Type of parole

  Parole is the general name for the system whereby inmates of penal institutions, juvenile training schools and women's guidance homes are released under certain conditions before the completion of their term of confinement and given the opportunity to take the place in society, in order to enable them to rehabilitate themselves. There are 4 types of parole, as follows: (1) parole of inmates sentenced to imprisonment with or without labor ; (2) provisional release of penal detainees or workhouse detainees ; (3) provisional discharge of juveniles sent to juvenile training schools ; and (4) provisional discharge of women in women's guidance homes. Those who are given provisional release shall not be subject to probationary supervision unlike the other 3 types of parolees.

(2) Examination of parole

  Three members of a Regional Parole Board form a council. Upon receiving applications for parole from wardens of correctional institutions, the council starts the process of parole examination by entrusting the actual examination to an appointed member (referred to as "chief examiner" for the purpose of this Chapter). In principle, the chief examiner interviews the inmate or detainee in question and examines issues such as (1) whether granting parole is appropriate, (2) the timing of parole, and (3) special conditions to be observed during the parole period. Based on the results of the examination, the council makes a decision on whether parole is to be granted, through deliberation.
  In this section, we will give an overview of parole for prison inmates (see Part 4, Chapter 2, Section 6-1 for details of provisional discharge from juvenile training schools).

(3) Requirements for grant of parole

  Parole may be granted to inmates sentenced to imprisonment with or without labor who show an attitude derived from repentance, after serving statutory terms, i.e. 1/3rd of the limited term of sentence or 10 years of a life imprisonment sentence. There are special provisions on these statutory terms under the Juveniles Law. In the case of offenders who were sentenced to imprisonment with or without labor as juveniles, parole is granted to them after they have served 7 years of a life imprisonment sentence, 3 years of the limited term of sentence (for those sentenced to imprisonment for 10 years or more but 15 years or less) if they committed the offense before the age of 18, or 1 /3rd of the minimum term of an indeterminate sentence. Offenders are sentenced to life imprisonment if they have committed an offense when they were under 18 years of age and when the court considers to sentence them to death if they were adults. In this case, parole is granted to such offenders after they have served 10 years of a life imprisonment sentence as in the case of adult offenders (see Part 4, Chapter 2, Section 1 ). With respect to "attitude derived from repentance," the following 4 items are judged comprehensively: (1) whether they show signs of remorse for offenses, (2) whether they show a willingness to reform themselves, (3) whether they show no likelihood of repeat offense, and (4) whether the social sentiment will approve them being granted parole. Parole is finally granted when it is deemed to be reasonable, based on the judgments, to put such offenders on parole supervision for their reform and rehabilitation.