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Jail Conditions in China Much Improved

After strengthening humanitarian efforts and adopting new high-tech equipment, the management of Chinese jails has seen remarkable progress, the Ministry of Justice reported.

“The current incidences of both escape and recidivism among prisoners in China have dropped to a record low since the nation’s foundation in 1949,” Du Zhongxing, chief official in charge of prison affairs from the Ministry of Justice, said recently.

The conditions for Chinese prisoners have witnessed a gigantic improvement in diet, medical treatment, technical training and exchange with the outside world. That explains why prisoners in China can rebuild their confidence and serve out their prison terms with ease, said Du.

Several improvements have been made to benefit prisoners. At the First Women’s Prison in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, each ward has been equipped with a TV room and reading room which lets prisoners to take books to their cells.

For entertainment, prisoners have even formed an art troupe and perform regularly for their fellow inmates.

At the Fifth Prison in east China’s Zhejiang Province, prisoners’ everyday intake of calories, protein and fat are determined by the Life and Health Management Software, which was jointly developed by the prison and Zhejiang University.

According to Jin Yongsheng, head of the life and sanitation department of this prison also tracks prisoners’ health through the use of computer systems.

A medical report for each prisoner is filed monthly so that illnesses are closely monitored. “Should any individual situation become serious, we will contact outside hospitals and provide timely treatment,” Jin said.

Psychological counseling services have also been launched in quite a number of prisons in China. Professional help is available for anger management.

To provide more opportunities for exchange with family and friends, telephone “love hotlines” have been established in prisons throughout the nation.

(China Daily 09/03/2001)

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