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Untried inmates are accommodated in detention houses, prisons, or juvenile prisons, separated from sentenced inmates. The treatment of untried inmates is designed to prevent their escape and destruction of evidence, while taking care to respect their defense rights as suspects or persons accused and to ensure their proper custodial life. Untried inmates are, in principle, accommodated in single cells, and even when housed in shared cells, consideration is given, for example, to ensure that suspects connected to the same case are not housed together and have no opportunity to contact each other even outside their cells.
Unlike sentenced inmates, untried inmates are in principle allowed to purchase clothes or bedding at their own expense as well as given a wide range of freedom to buy their own food, drink, and daily requisites, provided that they do not violate the rules or hygiene in the institution. Visits to them are observed by guards except for visits by defense counsels, and the contents of written communication are subject to censorship. These can be restricted under the Code of Criminal Procedure, and can also be restricted only when they contravene the purpose of detention and when it is administratively unavoidable for maintaining the rules and order of the institution. Books, magazines, and newspapers are allowed as long as it does not contravene the purpose of detention nor violate the rules or order of the institution.
Among untried inmates, those detained at the stage of not having been prosecuted are mostly detained in substitute penal institutions (police cells under the old Prison Act). The average daily number of inmates in substitute penal institutions in FY 2005 was 13,959 (Source: The Correction Bureau, Ministry of Justice).
The treatment of detainees subject to confinement as the punishment for contempt of court (Kanchi confinement) is in line with that of untried inmates, except that there are some restrictions on visits, written communication, and the freedom to purchase clothes and that they are not allowed to buy their own food or drink. In 2005, four persons were subject to Kanchi confinement (Source: Annual Report of Statistics on Correction).
Inmates sentenced to death are accommodated in detention houses until the sentence is executed. Their treatment is generally in line with that of untried inmates. Religious services by prison chaplains or guidance and advice by volunteer visitors are available at their requests. As of December 31, 2005, there were 77 inmates awaiting execution of the death penalty (Source: Annual Report of Statistics on Correction).