Psychological clinics, still rarely seen by ordinary Chinese citizens, have made their entry into Chinese prisons.
A report recently released by the Ministry of Justice showed that psychological counseling has been conducted in more than 60 percent of Chinese prisons, and in places like Beijing, Shanghai and Zhejiang, psychological clinics have been set up to help reduce the mental problems of inmates.
In a prison of Hangzhou, capital of east China's coastal Zhejiang Province, prisoners seeking psychotherapy can first vent their rage in an abreaction room by hitting a hanging sandbag and then go to another consultation room to talk with psychologists about their problems.
The clinic is open to prisoners at the end of every month and those seeking treatment can either put forward their requests by themselves or be recommended by the prison police.
Chen Zhiyu, a local psychologist, pointed out that compared with ordinary people, criminals are easier to get excited and become violent, so the abreaction room is set up to relieve their stress.
In 1989, the Ministry of Justice first introduced the idea of psychological treatment into criminal reeducation. According to Luo Dahua, an expert from the China University of Political Science and Law, two decades of practice have shown the treatment to be an effective way of reeducating criminals.
(Xinhua News Agency December 30, 2002)