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The Study on Community-based Corrections in Japan

Author: SuMingYue
Tutor: WangMu
School: China University of Political Science
Course: Criminal Law
Keywords: Community-based Corrections Penalty Alternative to Penalty Judicial Welfare
CLC: DD914
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2007
Downloads: 319
Quote: 1
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The word“Community-based Corrections”in Japanese is translated one from“probation, Schutzaufsicht, surveillance”and so on. As a beginning, it worked as an introduction of“probation supervision”in Anglo-American law. There had been some different translation versions similar to“community-based corrections”. Probation and parole are part of a uniquely British and American legal system of criminal justice in which contradictory goals and competing expectations are reconciled in swirling caldron of politics. Governments want greater protection from crime while insisting that efforts to afford this protection do no jeopardize treasured constitutional rights. We want a system that deters would be miscreants and incapacitates those not deterred without imposing significant tax dollar costs. Probation and parole are often made scapegoats for the impossibility of achieving these competing expectations.Generally speaking,“Community-based Corrections”is corresponding to probation and parole. When a probationer or parolee commits a serious crime that generates publicity, questions are raised about why this person was not in prison. Even a single case can result in changes that typically make sound politics but poor practice. For reasons of justice (punishment fitting the crime) or cost (too expensive to incarcerate all offenders in prison indefinitely), most offenders are not imprisoned and imprisoned offenders are eventually released. Convicted offenders can be placed on probation, released after completing their entire sentence, or paroled to supervision in the community. Besides probation and parole for adults,“probation supervision”and“aftercare supervision”in juvenile justice are also included.As for the nature of probation and parole, a person on probation or on parole has not been considered a free person traditionally, despite the fact that the he or she is not incarcerated or released from imprisonment. The basis for imposing restrictions (conditions) on a probationer’s or a parolee’s liberty is contained in these theories: conditional privilege, contract theory custody theory, and the like.Probation and parole work as alternatives to incarceration punishments. According to the classical position, punishment is justified because offenders who violate the social contract are rational and endowed with free will. This concept, which has biblical origins, holds that every person has the ability to distinguish and choose between right and wrong, and between being law abiding or criminal. The classical school argues that because humans tend toward hedonism– that is, they seek pleasure and avoid pain– they must be restrained, by fear of punishment, from pleasurable acts that are unlawful. Accordingly, the purpose of the criminal law is not simply retribution but also deterrence. Contrarily, the positive approach to the study of crime became known as criminology. Its view places emphasis not on the crime but on the criminal. It contradicts the theory of free will for which positivists have substituted a chain of interrelated causes and, at its most extreme, a deterministic basis for criminal behavior: The criminal could not do otherwise. Because criminal behavior is the result of social and psychological, if not physiological, conditions over which the offender has little or no control, he or she is no culpable in legal parlance and thus punishment is inappropriate. However, because criminals do represent a threat to society, they must be“treated”,“corrected”, or“rehabilitated”. Probation and parole have traditionally been viewed as having two primary goals: protection of the community and rehabilitation of the offender. Of course, the two are not incompatible: Rehabilitation of the offender improves community safety.In the historical view,“Community-based Corrections”in Japanese was executed by volunteers before World War II and then the government power such as police began to be involved in. As the present system is concerned, both the government offers and volunteers work for it, which is regarded as one of main characters of community-based correction system in Japan. We can learn from it connected to the reform or improvement of probation and parole in criminal justice system of China.

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