Minister of Justice Zhang Jun on March 3 called for more social efforts to join his ministry to help rehabilitate inmates, aiming to help them effectively return to society.
Now, the country has just about 2 percent of inmates on parole, “which is obviously low,” Zhang said. “We’ll make more efforts to increase the percentage in the future and consider the remaining prison terms of some criminals as probation, letting them go back to society, step by step.”
If an inmate commits a new crime while on probation, he or she will be sent back to prison, he said.
The nature of rehabilitation is to help inmates adjust better when they return home and ensure society is safe, he added.
He made the remarks after the opening session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
He said social forces, such as rehabilitating inmates in communities, should be strengthened, “as many prisoners will finally come back to society, which means a prison is not a zoo, where beasts can be caged till they die,” he added.
He confirmed prison safety and management has been improved a lot in last few years, saying the number of inmates escaping from prisons now is very small compared with almost as many as 4,000 each year 10 or 20 years ago.
He also revealed that a nationwide technology-friendly network is being established. “If it is set up, residents can solve their legal problems and enjoy legal services, including seeking lawyers online,” he said.
“Everyone can ask for legal aid through the network. More than 1,000 legal professionals, such as attorneys, mediators, judges and prosecutors, will answer online,” he said, adding the ministry wants to supply accurate, timely and more legal services for people.