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Beijing Prisoners Allowed to Spend Weekend at Home

Ten prisoners on Friday were given permission by the Beijing Municipal Prison Administrative Bureau to enjoy a weekend out of jail with their families.

It is the first time the authorities have allowed prisoners to spend a weekend at home, which is widely regarded as a humanitarian approach to prison management.

The 10 prisoners have all performed well in serving more than half of their time in prison and their remaining prison terms are no more than one year, which are major conditions for getting the permission, according to a senior bureau official.

The prisoners were required to go through temporary residence procedures at their local public security bureau and to return to prison Sunday afternoon.

A prisoner surnamed Li told Xinhua that he has been in prison for 10 years and is scheduled for release in half a year. The free weekend offers him a golden opportunity to learn more about the fast-changing world, which will definitely benefit his future life, he said.

The bureau official said the move is a trial measure in the reform of the city's prison management, and will help prisoners adjust their mentality and rebuild their confidence before returning to society.

(Xinhua News Agency August 16, 2003)

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