Prisons in Japan are called Keimusho [刑務所] and surprise with their competence and differentiated treatment habits for prisoners and administration. In this article we will learn more about prisons and what happens when you are arrested.
Unlike our idea of a prison, Japan does not suffer from overcrowded or poorly maintained prisons. In Japan, prisoners are treated equally, receive the same amount of food, wear the same uniform, and perform manual work.
Fortunately, Japanese prisons have almost no violence between prisoners; No revenge killings and no rapes. Things are so peaceful that there is usually only one Guard to look after 40 inmates.
Prisoners are classified according to gender, nationality, type of sentence, length of sentence, degree of criminality and physical and mental health. The penitentiary system is divided into adults, juveniles and women-oriented houses (to rehabilitate prostitutes).
Prisoners wear uniforms and there is a prescribed way of walking, talking, eating, sitting and sleeping. Made a mistake is punished! The most common is the loss of privileges, such as recreation time, access to TV and loss of most wanted jobs.
What Happens to Being Trapped in Japan?
Before we talk about prisons, it is good to understand what happens when you are arrested. In Japan, prisoners have almost no rights. As soon as someone is arrested, he is guilty until proven otherwise.
Most of those arrested are convicted, so the police hardly make mistakes when arresting someone. If you insist on being innocent, the treatment will be even more rigorous and will be interpreted as remorse. If you are guilty, it is best to confess!
The investigation process is hard, you cannot sleep and will only eat frozen rice with raw egg. A process that can take about 12 hours of psychological pressure to sign a confession.
All Japanese legislation benefits the state and not the defendant. A person can be detained for questioning for 48 hours and they can request preventive detention for 10 days. A person can be imprisoned for up to 23 days without being charged with any crime.
In some cases the embassy will not be able to help you, you will be treated according to the laws of Japan. State lawyers are expensive, add additional fees and do not do much. If convicted, you can take books in your language to jail.
I was arrested in Japan, but I am Innocent! Chipped me?
I read comments from people who read a certain article on the internet, and even got 15 things to know before traveling to Japan. and being arrested innocent, but things are not quite like that. Let's understand some facts about the arrest of innocents in Japan.
First, people need to stop believing everything they read on the internet. Despite being facts, a lot of that article was being written in a generalized and frightening way, in order to generate shares.
In Japan, the police and the competent bodies investigate the life of the criminal or suspect before leading him to prison. So the individual is only arrested when he was caught, identified in flagrante delicto or when it is certain that the individual committed a crime…
There have been cases where the investigation has taken innocents to prison and the suspects have only been released after decades. The police retracted it with apology on national TV and somehow compensated the suspect and family for the time detained.
These cases are rare, I believe to be more rare than innocents being arrested in Brazil, even Brazilians with their fragile laws that release criminals. I believe there were less than 3 cases that innocents were convicted for a long time.
A bus driver was arrested for a DNA test taken from the young victim. After 30 years, he was acquitted, receiving a very high compensation and retirement, he has already bought several houses for family members and spends his retirement traveling around the country.
There is no reason to be afraid of being arrested in Japan as tourists, the laws are different for people who are traveling or have a permanent visa. Even if you accidentally hit someone, you will not receive the same treatment of criminals mentioned above.
Types of prisons in Japan
There are different types of arrests and detentions in Japan, let's talk briefly about each one:
Kouchishou [拘置所] - It is an installation of the Ministry of Justice, which mainly houses non-convicted prisoners (criminal defendants) and people sentenced to death. A rigid prison, one is placed in his cell in isolation.
Shōnen keimusho [少年刑務所] - It accommodates people who have been subject to criminal sanctions as a result of legal or similar actions, in violation of laws and regulations. Despite being suitable for young people under 20, they can house up to 26 years.
Joshi keimusho [女子刑務所] - They are like men's prisons, but for women. There is no juvenile prison for women, they are added to wards in a female prison. Most of the prisoners are recovering from prostitution there.
Keiji Shisetsu [刑事施設] - Refers to an installation that accommodates people sentenced to free prison in Japan, sentenced to death and suspects and detainees detained. According to the old prison law, it was called a prison.
The law has already undergone several changes to the prison system. It is important to clarify that there are different types of detention, conviction, rehabilitation and others. See below some of the punishments of convicts in Japan:
Choueki [懲役] - It is a criminal punishment that allows a free sentence, but under criminal bondage; prison with hard work, work to pay for your crimes.
Kinko [禁錮] - Long-term punishment that does not impose work obligations in a legal system that defines categories as work obligations for free sentences. That is, a prison (without forced labor); incarceration and confinement.
Kouryuu [拘留] - Short-term criminal penalty that does not impose labor obligations in the legal system that defines the division of labor as tax exempt. Translated as custody; detention and short confinement.
How Are Prisons in Japan?
Jails or prisons in Japan are well regulated and strict. When you get there, you get a giant manual on how to behave inside. This explains why there is no violence, armed guards and high walls in Japan's prisons.
Detainees wear uniforms and there is a rule for everything, in the way of walking, eating, sitting, getting up, sleeping and even talking. If the rules are not violated, a punishment can be applied. If you must eat looking down, sleep showing your face.
Bathing is only allowed a few times a week with the supervision of the guards. The infirmary is only used for emergencies, many need to deal with pain or mild problems, mainly due to the lack of doctors on call.
Chatting is allowed only for a limited time and during the day. Without conjugal visits, visits from relatives should last between 5 to 30 minutes. Visitors must be closely related or lawyers, no fiancee or girlfriend.
Even the sending of letters is checked, reviewed and censored. Letters can be written only in English and Japanese. Prisoners must bear all the costs and expenses of sending and posting the letter.
Depending on the prison, all prisoners work, either internally or externally for companies that have government contracts. The remuneration is very low is no more than cents an hour. Fortunately it is a chance to see the outside.
Japanese Prison Meals
Japanese prison meals are limited according to an imposed calorie limit. There are only three meals a day, with rice, vegetables and a little meat or fish. Many end up losing weight in prison.
Those who have any religious restrictions, can apply bureaucratically for such regimes. Foreigners can choose to eat bread instead of rice for breakfast.
Good Things in Japanese Prison
Professional and formal education is emphasized, as well as instruction in social values. Most convicts are involved in labor, for which a small bag is reserved for use in the release.
Prisons in Japan have a system that emphasizes incentives, inmates are initially assigned to community cells and then are given better rooms and additional privileges based on their good behavior.
Although some young offenders are treated under the general penal system, most are treated in separate youth training schools. More forgiving than penal institutions, these institutions offer correctional education and regular schooling.
Volunteers are also used in probation supervision, although professional probation officers generally supervise offenders found to be at high risk of reoffending.
Problems in Japan's prisons
One of the biggest problems in Japan's prisons is disease, which is caused by the onset of winter. Many prisons do not have heating and this causes several problems to the health of an inmate. There are also some health problems caused by health conditions.
In addition to the Japanese prisons being one of the most rigid in the world, they are much stricter with foreigners who suffer discrimination and still cannot speak their native language, only Japanese.
This rule is intended to avoid disorder, such as planning to kill someone, escape or rebellion. If there were no such restriction, the guards would not have the capacity to understand what was being discussed among the prisoners.
Many say that the rules and prisons in Japan are too strict, cruel, inhuman and draconian. It looks like the guards are ready to make your life hell. Does this treatment really help to readjust the convict?
The Japanese Prison System allows the prisoner to undergo personal restructuring, but this depends on each individual. If there are laws in prisons, it is because some prisoners disobey. Some fight over TV shows, others even commit suicide.
Japan prisons vs. Brazil prisons
Some question the rigidity of Japanese prisons, but it has been much worse. In the Age of Absolute Emperors, a Japanese prison was like a death camp operating slowly, like the North Korean camps or China's prisons.
Prisoners were tortured by jailers, sometimes to death to serve as an example. When overcrowded, a prisoner was given authority by the Chief of Saddle to kill other prisoners to make room. Nowadays prisons in Japan are luxury hotels.
Although Brazil appears to have less rigid and good prisons for detainee's discipline and recovery, the reality is different than what is found. Many prisons in Brazil are without rules, full of violence, filthy and precarious.
Brazil's prison system does not better anyone, so much so that it is called the Crime School. So if you feel sorry for those arrested in Japan, feel sorry for those arrested in Brazil, which here is worse. The only difference is that in Brazil not everyone goes to prison.
Curiosities about prisons in Japan
In Japan there are about 60 prisoners for every 100,000 inhabitants or about 75,000 prisoners in total. A very low value compared to 1990, which was 47,000. One reason is the increase in the number of elderly people who commit crimes to be imprisoned due to loneliness or lack of financial conditions.
Children under 20 are taken for an educational correction. The number of young prisoners is much smaller than adults, mainly because of the low crime rate. In Japan we can say: Young people are the future of our Nation!
Volunteers are used to supervise people on parole. Most of these volunteers are usually people over 50 or older.
In Japan, there are 62 prisons, 7 juvenile prisons, 52 juvenile detention centers, 52 youth training schools, 8 detention facilities, 8 regional probation councils and 50 probation offices.
Between 1990 and 2002 about 1500 prisoners died in suspicious circumstances. Only 2 deaths were related to abuse, another 10 deaths were due to care precarious doctors. The rest of the deaths were declared unsuspected.
There is a more severe punishment that involves sitting on your knees on the floor in front of a wall for hours or even days. Solitary confinement is also used. In Japan there is still execution by hanging since 1873 for the most serious crimes.
Almost all prisoners work, either in prison maintenance or as contract work for private companies, six days a week.
What did you think of Japanese prisons? Do you know any other details that were left out? Leave your comments and share with friends.