3 Private sector cooperation

(1) Voluntary visits

Penal institutions can request volunteer visitors to interview inmates and provide them with guidance and advice that is based on their professional knowledge and experience when needed. The content of that guidance and advice can range from mental concerns, their families, employment, and future life plans through to hobbies and cultural matters. As of the end of 2010 there were 1,188 volunteer visitors, 436 of whom were specialists in education, literature, and the arts, 131 in rehabilitation services, 83 in law (legal professionals), 252 in religion, commerce and industry, and social welfare, and 286 in other areas. Of the total of 14,585 voluntary visits made in 2010, 7,948 were in regard to hobbies and culture, etc., 2,931 family matters, the law, or employment, etc., and 1,521 mental concerns, etc. (Source: The Correction Bureau, Ministry of Justice).

(2) Religious services/instruction

Penal institutions can freely request chaplains (private religious volunteers) to provide religious services and instruction (mental relief through sutra recitations and lectures, etc.) and make the effort to enable inmates to participate in those services and receive instruction according to their own personal wishes. As of the end of 2010 there were 1,700 chaplains, and religious services and instruction were provided a total of 9,979 times to groups and 8,794 times to individuals (Source: The Correction Bureau, Ministry of Justice).