FAQs For the Edification and Education of Inmates
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- Last updated：2023-06-09
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Q： How does the level mechanism for progressive corrective measures work?
- The progressive treatment procedure in the Prison is classified into four levels starting from Level 4 and gradually rising up to Level 1. A responsible score will be calculated based on the inmate’s prison term, the law he/she broke, the crime he/she committed, and the frequency of committed crimes of the inmate. The score an inmate acquires monthly can be used to write off the responsible score. Once the responsible score is offset, the inmate can advance to Level 3, Level 2, and Level 1. The responsibility scores shall be reduced by a third in the case of juvenile prisoner scores. The responsibility scores of prisoners who are recidivists shall be increased by a third per level ranking of prisoners. The responsibility scores of prisoners whose parole is revoked shall be increased by 50% per level ranking of prisoners.
- After the grading for inmates is complete, the discipline personnel will give out a monthly score based on the daily evaluation. The score acquired by each level prisoner shall be used to write off his/her existing responsibility score to enable the prisoner to advance to a higher level. Once the responsibility score for a particular level has been fully written off and the prisoner still has excess scores, the excess scores shall be included in the score of the next level.
- Different treatments on the matters of guard and control, labor work, edification and education, daily provisions, visits, and letter sending will be given to inmates of different levels. For example, according to Article 56 of the Statute of Progressive Execution of Penalty, the frequency and number of visitations and correspondence privileges of the respective level prisoners shall be as follows:
(1). For Level 4 prisoners, once a week.
(2). For Level 3 prisoners, once or twice a week.
(3). For Level 2 prisoners, once in every three days.
(4). For Level 1 prisoners, no limitations.
And so on. The lower an inmate’s level is, the stricter his/her treatment is. In other words, a Level 4 inmate has the strictest treatment and discipline, and a Level 1 inmate is more autonomous and shall be prepared to return to society. These will be beneficial to the life planning for inmates after their release.
Q： Is the “edification and education” mandatory during an inmate’s time in the Prison?
- During an inmate’s time in Prison, he/she will face mandatory edification and education. The legal basis includes:
(I) Article 37, Paragraph 1 of the Prison Act: An inmate shall be given education and rehabilitation.
(II) Article 41, Paragraph 1 of the Prison Act: Education is two hours each day. Purpose of the Compulsory Treatment: Reduce the risk of crime or “simply the significant risk of recidivism”.
- Article 1 of the Prison Act: “The purpose of imprisonment and custody is to encourage and assist an inmate to reform and adapt to social life.” It shows the highest principle for performing imprisonment is mercy. With the education and instruction in the Prison, the inmate can change to become a better person and stop committing crimes after the release. The purpose of imprisonment is not to take revenge on the inmates, punish them, or threaten them. The purpose is to change the inmate into a better person and make him/her adapt to social life. Its purpose of it shall be to change the inmates actively instead of punishing them passively. Imprisonment is performed out of mercy instead of cruelty. Inmates shall be given education instead of warning. Only when the edification and education work become effective can the purpose of imprisonment be achieved. Otherwise, the imprisonment mechanism of a prison will have no effect. As a result, the Prison Act regulates that “an inmate shall be given education and rehabilitation”.
Q： During the imprisonment time in prison, inmates can be classified into juvenile offenders and adult offenders. How will the monthly score be given to them respectively?
- During the imprisonment time in prison, inmates can be categorized into juvenile offenders and adult offenders. The monthly score shall be given to them following the standards for adults.
- The so-called “following the standards for adults” means the starting point and point limit of each level shall be in compliance with the standards for adults. But the responsibility score shall be calculated in compliance with the percentages for juvenile offenders and adult offenders. The calculation standards can take the percentage into consideration and be adjusted.
Q： If an offender is sentenced to life imprisonment for the crimes he/she committed, the offender is a second offender of one crime and recidivist of another, the regulation of combining punishments for multiple offenses states that when multiple sentences of life imprisonment have been pronounced, only one life imprisonment sentence shall be executed. Shall the offender be executed as a second offender or recidivist?
- Basis of Relevant Laws or Letters: Letter Fa-Jiao-Zi No.0970019660 on June 24, 2008.
- An offender is sentenced to life imprisonment for both of the crimes he/she committed and the offender is a second offender of one crime and recidivist of the other. Although it is regulated in Article 51, Paragraph 3 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of China that only one life imprisonment sentence shall be executed, the execution rights for both crimes still exist.
- According to Article 51, Paragraph 5 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of China, when multiple sentences of imprisonment have been pronounced, the period of punishment shall be fixed at not less than the longest period of these punishments and not more than the sum of the periods of these punishments. As a result, when multiple sentences of life imprisonment have been pronounced, only one life imprisonment sentence shall be executed. But the one with the strictest parole conditions shall be chosen for execution. Thus, the life imprisonment sentence of the crime for which the offender is a “recidivist” shall be executed.
Q： If the parole an offender of life imprisonment is revoked due to the new law, how does the progressive corrective measures work in the execution of the remaining portion of the prison sentence?
- For the offender of life imprisonment whose parole is revoked, the execution of the remaining portion of the prison sentence is still life imprisonment. As a result, “life imprisonment” shall still be filled out in the prison sentence in the letter of command of enforcement of “the execution of the remaining portion of a prison sentence after the revocation of parole due to a new law” prepared by the prosecutor. The execution of progressive corrective measures and the grading of responsibility scores shall be in compliance with the regulations for life imprisonment.
- According to Article 79-1, Paragraph 5 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of China: “In the execution of the remaining portion of a prison sentence after the revocation of parole, execution of punishment for another offense shall start after the life imprisonment has been executed for 25 years and a imprisonment has been executed in full.” The reason for the establishment of the law is that parole is not allowed during the execution of the remaining portion of a prison sentence. If no period of execution is established, the prison sentence will be endless. Therefore, a 25 year period for execution is established. And “execution of punishment for another offense shall start after the life imprisonment has been executed for 25 years” shall be stated as a note on the letter of command of enforcement.
- Attention shall be paid to the amended Criminal Code of the Republic of China implemented on July 1, 2006. After the amendment, there is a difference of 20 years and 25 years with respect to the execution of the remaining portion of a prison sentence after the revocation of parole. Article 7-2, Paragraph 2 of the Enforcement Law of the Criminal Code of the Republic of China shall be followed to decide whether the regulations before the implementation of the amended Criminal Code shall be followed or the regulations after shall be followed.
- The prisoners shall not be entitled to abridgement of the term regulated in Article 28-1 of the Statute of Progressive Execution of Penalty for the Article regulates the “prisoners having determinate prison terms”. Moreover, Article 79-1, Paragraph 5 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of China regulates that the execution “has been executed for 25 years”. Therefore, the law will be violated if the execution has not yet been executed for 25 years.
Q： The inmate has points added for reward items. Shall the points be calculated in the total progressive corrective measure score or the monthly subtotal of the progressive corrective measure score?
- Basis of Relevant Laws or Letters Includes:
(I) Article 28-1 of Statute of Progressive Execution of Penalty.
(II) Letter Fa-86-Jiao-Zi No.046283 published by the Ministry of Justice on January 6, 2000.
- According to the regulations related to the entitlement of abridgement of term in Article 28-1 of the Statute of Progressive Execution of Penalty, prisoners shall be entitled to abridgement of term should the prisoner achieve a monthly total score of 10 or more. Abridgement shall be instituted in compliance with the regulations. As a result, when the inmate has points added for good behavior in the month, it is more appropriate that the points be calculated in the monthly subtotal of the score. This way, the inmate is entitled to the abridgement of term in the above article, which is in line with the spirit of the mechanism of abridgement of term. Moreover, it encourages the inmate to change to become a better person and comply with the regulations of the Prison to get more points. This would also help stabilize the inmates.
Q：The inmate has been treated as a recidivist for the execution. However, after the extraordinary appeal, the final and binding judgment of the Supreme Court is that the inmate is not a recidivist. Will the starting points with respect to the conduct score and education and instruction score after the sentence amendment is adjusted in the current month?
- Letter Tai-Han-Jian-Jue-Zi No.533 published by the former Ministry of Justice Administration states on August 10, 1979, “For a prisoner who has not conducted the performance of recidivism regulated in Article 47 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of China and yet was misjudged as a recidivist by the court, a legal remedy shall be conducted according to the procedures of filing an extraordinary appeal when the misjudgment is found. Before the original judgment is revoked for the judgment of the extraordinary appeal, the execution for the inmate shall be in compliance with the original judgment. The progressive corrective treatment for the inmate shall be based on the fact that the inmate is a recidivist, and his/her treatment will only be adjusted after the judgment of the extraordinary appeal is announced.”
- According to Article 8, Paragraph 4 of the Enforcement Rules of Statute of Progressive Execution of Penalty, if the inmate is found to be a recidivist, his/her responsibility score shall be adjusted from the month of the condition is found. The spirit of the Article is to adjust the responsibility score since the month of the condition is found as it is more appropriate. What is “from the month of the condition is found”? The prisons conduct the execution of criminal punishment according to the letter of command of enforcement issued by the Prosecutors Office. Therefore, the execution shall be adjusted after the latest letter of command of enforcement with the amendment arrives at the prison instead of tracing back to the month when the judgment is announced.
Q： If an inmate is punished for the violation of the prison's regulations, his/her total score and the score of a single item will both be deducted. Is this a double punishment?
For the inmate who violates the prison's regulations, the punishment is to “reduce” the score he/she has acquired according to Article 76 of the Prison Act and Article 34 of the Enforcement Rules of Statute of Progressive Execution of Penalty. The Prison bears the principle to perform evaluation with facts. We will take Article 21, Paragraph 1 of the Enforcement Rules of Statute of Progressive Execution of Penalty into consideration and perform a “strict evaluation”. Depending on the severity of the treatment, we “give out lower scores” based on the education and instruction scores and conduct scores the inmate acquires one month before the violation. We will see the inmate’s actual confession status to decide whether to “restore the scores”. As a result, “giving out lower” education and instruction scores and conduct scores is to evaluate the inmate’s performance of the month with facts. It is the result that comes with the violation of the prison’s regulations instead of a double punishment. In addition, there are circumstances when the score is reduced due to violation of the life management regulations while punishment is not given. This embodies the performance of evaluation with facts monthly.
Q： The prison term becomes shorter compared to the original term after the judgment of the court. Why does the originally acquired score reduce after the sentence amendment?
According to the administrative rule made by the Ministry of Justice and the regulation in Article 20 of the Enforcement Rules of Statute of Progressive Execution of Penalty, the inmate whose original prison term is reduced for the judgment of sentence the court makes, or the inmate is subject to commutation or qualified for commutation during his/her time in prison, and thus the progressive corrective measure is reduced, a radiometric conversion shall be performed on the original total score based on the responsibility scores of the treatment levels before and after the sentence amendment.
Q： The period of detention before enforcement of the prison sentence lasts so long that it exceeds the date on which the submission for parole must be filed as required by law, but the score of the respective edification and conduct does not meet the requirements of parole. Is there any remedy in this case?
- A report and an application may be filed in the event that the period of detention is excessive and the score of the respective edification and conduct may be reviewed and increased, if appropriate, pursuant to the Implementation Directions on Scoring in Progressive Corrective Measure of the Prison.
- However, to implement the evaluation system properly, the applicant shall not be punished with a reduced score due to violation of the discipline or life management regulations during the detention within six months prior to the application.
- In addition, the applicant may actively participate in labor work, public affairs, and activities to strive for an opportunity for earlier increase of the respective edification and conduct score.
Q： What are the conditions for parole of an inmate? When can an application for parole filed? Will the inmate or his/her family members be informed when the parole is approved?
- Parole is a provisional release of an inmate who is under execution of a fixed-term or life imprisonment and repentant as evidence shows during a statutory period. The prison authority shall apply to the Ministry of Justice for the parole before the end of sentence. If the released inmate does not commit crimes or act in substantial violation of the regulations of probation, the sentence that has not been executed shall be deemed executed. In the case that the parole is revoked, however, the prison authority shall execute the rest of the sentence thoroughly.
- The conditions under which application for parole may be filed are different depending on the time of the crime as described below:
(I) Audit Inmates
- The Criminal Code brought into force on July 01, 2006: 25 years or more of the sentence of life imprisonment must have been executed; one half or more of the sentence of imprisonment of a first or repeated offender must have been executed; two-thirds or more of the sentence of imprisonment of an recidivist must have been executed; however, the execution of a sentence of imprisonment must reached six months. The Criminal Code brought into force on November 28, 1997: 15 years or more of the sentence of life imprisonment of a general inmate must have been executed; 20 years or more of the sentence of life imprisonment of an recidivist must have been executed; one half or more of the sentence of imprisonment must have been executed; two-thirds or more of the sentence of imprisonment of an recidivist must have been executed. The Criminal Code brought into force on June 08, 1994: 10 years or more of the sentence of life imprisonment of a general inmate must have been executed and one-third or more of the sentence of imprisonment must have been executed.
- The applicant must have an upward second grade under PRS.
- The applicant shall have a score of at least 3 points in respective education, labor, and conduct in the recent three months when applying for the parole.
- The applicant shall have evidence of repentance.
(II) Juvenile Inmates
- Seven years or more of the sentence of life imprisonment or one-third or more of the sentence to imprisonment must have been executed; however, the execution of a sentence of imprisonment must reach six months.
- The applicant must have an upward second grade under PRS.
- The applicant shall have a score of at least 4 points in education, 3 points in conduct, and 2 points in labor in the recent three months when applying for the parole.
- The applicant shall have evidence of repentance.
(III) The number of days of detention before the sentence becomes definitive shall be taken into account with one day of detention against one day of imprisonment. The days of detention shall not be taken into account in the case of executing the sentence of life imprisonment. However, the number of days of detention that exceeds one year shall be taken into account in the execution period of the sentence.
- The case meeting the previous conditions may be submitted to the Parole Board Committee for review and forwarded to the Ministry of Justice for review and approval. The prison is allowed to leave the prison under parole only after the Ministry of Justice gives approval. Parole is not applicable for prisoners whose sentence of imprisonment has not been executed for six months, felons and recidivists, and sex offenders whose risk of recommitment does not reduce significantly after therapy.
- Parole is reviewed comprehensively with reference to the performance of the inmate in the prison and relevant documents on the principles of fairness and justice. The prison authority initiates the application spontaneously without the need to pay any fees or retain any lawyers.
- In principle, the Ministry of Justice will give a reason for deferment of a parole and the enforcement authority will notify the inmate. The family members will not be informed about approved parole unless the inmate has a disability and it is difficult to return home, or has a serious disease or suffers from a mental disorder, or committed a domestic violence crime.
(VII) Since the schedule of an inmate's application for parole is different depending on the sentence, level, number of progressive corrective measures, number of crimes, and applicability of new or old laws, the actual date of application shall be informed by the counselor in the region where the inmate is assigned after calculation based on the personal information of the inmate.
Q： What are the circumstances in which the parole must be revoked against the inmate released under parole? How shall the rest sentence and the progressive corrective measures apply?
- The probation officer at the prosecutor’s office of the district court will, be letter, ask the prison authority that initiated the parole to revoke it against an inmate who is conditionally released and subject to probation in the following circumstances:
(I) The inmate commits a crime again during the period of parole that carries an imprisonment or a more severe punishment, the parole shall be revoked after the judgment is announced, except for offense through negligence.
(II) The parole may be revoked if the inmate acts in substantial violation of Article 74-2 of the Rehabilitative Disposition Execution Act during the period of parole, including (1) marinating good behaviors and staying out of contact with those with bad behaviors; (2) complying with the orders given by the prosecutor and the probation officer; (3) not offending the victim, complainant, or informer; (4) reporting his/her physical health, living conditions, and working environment to the probation officer at least once a month; and (5) unless approved by the probation officer, he/she shall not leave the location of probation. Approval of the prosecutor shall be acquired if leaving more than ten (10) days.
2.Execution of the remaining sentence shall proceed after revocation of the parole, as described below:
(I) The Criminal Code brought into force on July 01, 2006: The number of days spent out of prison under parole shall not be calculated as part of the prison term after the parole is revoked. The remaining sentence of imprisonment shall be executed thoroughly and the remaining sentence of life imprisonment shall be executed for a period of 25 years (without the opportunity to apply for parole) prior to execution of other sentences, if any.
(II) The Criminal Code brought into force on November 28, 1997: The number of days spent out of prison under parole shall not be calculated as part of the prison term after the parole is revoked. The remaining sentence of imprisonment shall be executed thoroughly and the remaining sentence of life imprisonment shall be executed for a period of 20 years (without the opportunity to apply for parole) prior to execution of other sentences, if any.
(III) The Criminal Code brought into force on June 08, 1994: The number of days spent out of prison under parole from imprisonment or life imprisonment shall not be calculated as part of the prison term after the parole is revoked and the remaining sentence shall be executed thoroughly. Application for another parole is allowed if the requirements for the parole are satisfied.
3. The responsibility scores of the inmate whose parole is revoked shall be based on Article 19 of the Statute of Progressive Execution of Penalty; however, the responsibility scores shall be increased by 50% per level ranking of the inmate.
Q： What are mild measures? What are the regulations?
I. When an inmate who is judged with a prison term of more than six months can comply with the discipline and continue behaving well, the progressive corrective treatment can be adjusted downward according to relevant orders and depending on his/her physical and mental conditions. When the reason for such mild measures does not exist, the progressive corrective treatment shall be re-executed.
II. Mildmeasures are applicable to the following inmates:
(I) An inmate who endures an illness diagnosed by a doctor that requires long term treatment.
(II) An inmate who is diagnosed with a mental disorder, mental illness, or serious retardation in intelligence.
(III) An inmate who is senescent, disabled, has difficulty acting, or unable to live on his/her own.
(IV) An inmate who is pregnant or just gave birth not yet exceeding two months.
(V) An inmate who, in accordance with the results of investigation and classification, is deemed necessary for mild measures.
III. An inmate who meets the requirements for mild measures shall be reported to the Ministry of Justice for review.
IV. An inmate who meets the requirements for mild measurements is subject to a treatment more mitigative than the general progressive corrective measures:
(I) Education and Instruction: To be executed individually using the methods deemed beneficial to the physical and mental condition of the prisoner.
(II) Labor Assignment: To assign them insubstantial work that matches their interests. The inmate’s physical and mental state shall be taken into consideration as well during the assignment. The inmate is permitted to use his/her monthly allowance received from the work at his/her own will. If the inmate is sick and cannot be engaged in work, a report shall, together with the certificate issued by the Sanitation and Heath Section, be submitted to the Prison Affairs Committee for approval to stop work. The labor score of the inmate shall be one half (2 points) of the maximum labor score specified in Article 20 of the Statute of Progressive Execution of Penalty.
(III) Confinement: To be conducted in accordance with the circumstances. The inmate may be confined separately from other inmates, but his/her mental and physical health shall not be affected.
(IV) When there are any special reasons, the inmate is allowed to be visited and mail in correspondence with persons other than his/her most intimate kinsfolk and family members; in the circumstances of illness or for correctional purposes, the visit is permitted to be conducted in a proper location other than the visitation room; the frequency and time of visit may be increased or extended if necessary.
(V) Supply: Standards of foods may be defined separately in accordance with the needs and the menu may be changed to appropriate foods; in circumstances where it is deemed relevant, inmates are permitted to use self-prepared clothes and mattresses with the prison's approval, and the prison shall provide required clothes for health purposes.
(VI) Grading: The responsible score at each level shall be 80% of the standard score.
Q： What is reduction of prison term? What are the requirements?
I. Reduction of prison term shall mean the legal reduction of the imprisonment term to be served by any “inmate subject to imprisonment of a definite term” due to his/her good behavior during imprisonment. The purpose of such progressive corrective treatment is to encourage the inmate to repent.
II. Any inmate at an ordinary prison whose progressive corrective treatment has reached level 3 or higher and whose monthly score is at least 10 may have his/her imprisonment term reduced. Any inmate at Level 3 may have 2 days deducted for each month. Any inmate at Level 2 may have 4 days deducted for each month. Any inmate at Level 1 may have 6 days deducted for each month.
III. Any inmate at an open prison who has had no poor work performance, has not been undisciplined, and has not been subject to a downgrade from the month after the one when he/she arrives at the prison may have his/her imprisonment term reduced based on the following number of days after serving a month: Any inmate at Level 4 or without any level may have 2 days deducted for each month. Any inmate at Level 3 may have 4 days deducted for each month. Any inmate at Level 2 may have 8 days deducted for each month. Any inmate at Level 1 may have 16 days deducted for each month.
IV. Any inmate whose prison term is to be reduced shall be informed of any resolution adopted by the Prison Affairs Committee in this respect, and such a resolution shall be sent to the Ministry of Justice for approval and reference.
V. No reduction of prison term is allowed for any inmate whose remaining prison term is less than one month.
VI. The days deducted from the prison term of any inmate will not be enforced, and the term deducted pursuant to the Statute of Progressive Execution of Penalty may not be reinstated. In the case of any inmate at an open prison who has poor work performance, is undisciplined, or is subject to a downgrade, depending on the severity of the circumstances, the prison term of the inmate for the current month will not be reduced if he/she remains at the open prison, and the days deducted previously shall be reinstated if he/she is sent to another prison. In the case of any inmate whose parole has been revoked, the prison term deducted during his/her stay at an open prison shall also be reinstated. The days reinstated shall be enforced.
VII. The period of progressive corrective treatment or parole shall be calculated based on the reduced prison term.
Q： How does an inmate without money afford any lawsuits?
- The inmate may contact the Legal Aid Foundation for assistance:
I. What can they do for the inmate?
(I) They can pay the attorney’s fee for an inmate undergoing any lawsuit.
(II) They can write legal pleadings for the inmate.
(III) They can assist the inmate in mediating any legal dispute.
II. Who is eligible for application?
(I) Any reasonable legal case.
(II) Any low-income household or household whose property or income is below a certain amount.
(III) Any criminal case where defense is mandatory and no review of financial condition is required (defense during any investigation still requires a review of financial condition).
2.How can I file an application?
I. If the inmate is unable to file an application in person, another person may do so on his/her behalf. A power of attorney shall be prepared, and the agent must be familiar with the relevant case.
II.Please make an appointment by telephone in advance.
III. What documents shall be brought for application?
(I) The National ID Card of the applicant and a power of attorney.
(II) The original of a household certificate issued during the most recent three months, including the note field (household register will not be accepted).
(III) The original of a list containing information related to property ownership of the household.
(IV) The original of a list containing information of incomes under all the categories of consolidated income tax for the household during the most recent year.
(V) In the case of a low-income household, the original of the information as evidence of low-income status.
(VI) Information of the relevant lawsuit.
3.Tainan Branch of the Legal Aid Foundation
(I) Add.: 8F, No. 14, Section 2, Zhongyi Road, West Central District, Tainan City 700
(II) Tel.: (06)2285550
(III) National Legal Aid Hotline: (02)66328282