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 White paper on crime 2006 Part 2/Chapter 4/Section 2/2 

2 Work

(1) Overview

  Work is mainly carried out by the inmates sentenced to imprisonment with work who are obliged to engage in work under acts and fine defaulters in workhouses who cannot complete the payment of fines or petty fines. In addition, some voluntary work is also undertaken by inmates sentenced to imprisonment without work, untried inmates and others, who are not obliged to engage in work. As of March 31, 2006, 92.9% of the inmates sentenced to imprisonment without work were engaged in voluntary work (Source: The Correction Bureau, Ministry of Justice).
  The primary purpose of work is to nurture a willingness to work among inmates and teach them vocational knowledge and skills. Work is divided into production work (woodwork, printing, tailoring, metalwork, etc.), work for sustaining institutions (cooking, cleaning, care assistance, maintenance work, etc.) and vocational training. An inmate is assigned to a work category in accordance with his/her individual aptitude. Work is carried out not only inside penal institutions, but also in outside work sites under the management of a prison. In addition, a new system of work by commuting to outside work sites was introduced, under which inmates commute to outside ordinary work sites without being accompanied by staff of penal institutions under the cooperation of private companies and are made to engage in work or take vocational training at those work sites.
  The average daily number of inmates engaged in work in FY2005 was about 64,000, and the amount of revenue from work was about 6.1 billion yen (Source: The Correction Bureau, Ministry of Justice).

(2) Working conditions

  The total hours for correctional guidance and work are limited to less than eight hours per day, and when there are special grounds, such as for securing places for correctional guidance or for ensuring delivery date for products pertaining to production work, working hours can be extended up to 12 hours a day. Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays, and year-end and new-year holidays are off, except for kinds of work, such as cooking, delivery of meals, stockbreeding, and others that need to be done every day.
  To improve the working environment, safety and health of inmates, measures are taken in line with the principles of the Industrial Safety and Health Act and others.
  All revenue from work becomes national revenue, and after the enforcement of the Inmates Treatment Act, work incentive, replacing former work remuneration, is to be paid to those who engage in the work. The work incentive is in principle paid to an inmate upon his/her release. The (budgeted) average monthly remuneration per inmate in FY 2005 was about \3,833 (Source: The Correction Bureau, Ministry of Justice). For inmates released in 2005, 27.4% of them received more than 50,000 yen of the work remuneration, while 23.1% of them received 10,000 yen or less (Source: Annual Report of Statistics on Correction).

(3) Vocational training

  There are three forms of vocational training, namely general training, group training, and internal training. General training is implemented for eligible inmates, who were selected from penal institutions nationwide, in eight designated facilities (the Yamagata, Fukui, Yamaguchi and Matsuyama Prisons as well as the Hakodate, Kawagoe, Nara and Saga Juvenile Prisons). Group training and internal training are implemented mainly in each Regional Correction Headquarters and in each facility respectively, selecting eligible inmates.
  Vocational training is given on 22 topics, including welding, electrical engineering, car maintenance, construction, printing, woodcraft, construction machinery, and welfare caretaker, etc. In FY 2005, 2,141 inmates completed vocational training, and obtained a total of 2,530 qualifications or licenses as welding technicians, electricians, auto mechanics, and so forth (Source: The Correction Bureau, Ministry of Justice).

Work at a factory