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Probation and parole supervision is provided for "probationers and parolees" (see "Overview" of Part 2, Chapter 1 and Part 4, Chapter 2, Section 1), aiming for their rehabilitation through letting them have normal social lives. Probation officers and volunteer probation officers, nongovernmental volunteers commissioned by the Minister of Justice, give them necessary instruction and control to prompt them to observe certain conditions in their normal lives, as well as provide them with necessary guidance and support. Probation and parole conditions, which are the criteria for instruction and control, must be observed so that probationers and parolees could rehabilitate themselves instead of repeating offenses through surely receiving supervision. There are two types of probation and parole conditions: statutory general conditions applicable to everyone and special conditions established on a case-by-case basis.
Probation and parole supervision is usually carried out cooperatively by a probation officer and a volunteer probation officer for each probationer or parolee. When starting supervision, a probation officer makes an individual treatment plan by clarifying treatment policies and specific problems in implementing supervision, etc., based on an interview with the person in question and on his/her related records. A volunteer probation officer provides guidance and assistance according to this treatment plan, by having contact with them and their families through interviews and visits. The process of treatment is reported from the volunteer probation officer to the director of the probation office every month, and the probation officer cooperates with the volunteer probation officer to take appropriate measures according to changes in situations, such as having an interview with the person in question or persons concerned, when necessary.
Volunteer probation officers are assigned to any one of 878 probation districts (as of April 1, 2006) across the country and are engaged in rehabilitation services, such as probationary supervision and crime prevention activities. The Volunteer Probation Officer Act (Act No. 204 of 1950) stipulates that the number of volunteer probation officers should not exceed 52,500, and there were assigned 48,688 officers throughout the country as of January 1, 2006 (Source: The Rehabilitation Bureau, Ministry of Justice).