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 White paper on crime 2003 Part 2/Chap.5/Sec.2/3 

3 Other treatment measures

(1) Preparatory investigation system for parole

  Even before a Regional Parole Board receives an application for parole, preparatory investigations for parole are implemented with the aim at enhancement of parole examinations and the smoother return of offenders to society. For these investigations, probation officers in secretariats of Regional Parole Boards are sent to correctional institutions to interview inmates and understand problems for their return to society, as well as to discuss necessary measures with the staff of correctional institutions. In 2002, such investigations were implemented for a total of 41,454 offenders (31,714 prisoners and 9,740 juvenile training school inmates), up by 1,539 for prisoners and up by 83 for juvenile training school inmates from the previous year (Source: Data by Rehabilitation Bureau, Ministry of Justice).
  To further enhance the preparatory investigation system for parole, probation officers in secretariats of Regional Parole Boards are stationed in penal institutions. This resident officer system is now implemented in 10 large-scale prisons.

(2) Enhancement of parole examinations for long-term sentenced prisoners

  Those who are imprisoned for a long period of time generally receive harsh criticism from society due to heinous and serious offenses that they have committed. Most of them have problems in their predisposition, environment and other factors. For these reasons, in carrying out parole examinations for long-term prisoners who are to serve a sentence of 8 years or longer including those who are to serve life imprisonment, Regional Parole Boards carry out particularly careful investigations and examinations of the prisoner's mental and physical condition, sentiment of victims, and other related matters, and give special consideration to guidance and advice for the prisoner, environmental adjustment of next abode, and so forth. For example, chief examiners conduct repeated interviews and more than 1 examiner make the interview (For details on probation for long-term sentenced parolees, see Section 3, 3 (3) of this Chapter ).