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Mental Illness Inmates’ Imprisonment and Parole Assessment Mechanism 2017/5/13

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  • Last updated:2019-03-20
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In light of the public concern of mental illness inmates’ imprisonment and their social adaptation after parole, the Agency of Correction of the Ministry of Justice has the following elaboration:

1. The brief description of mental illness inmates’ imprisonment:
  i. Correctional institutes would conduct psychological assessment to all newly arrived inmates during their intake assessment procedure. To those who have long terms of imprisonment or with high-risk conditions (e.g., having mental illness, chronic disease, serious incidents occur in their families, regulation violation assessment, etc.), psychological assessment would be conducted whenever necessary or at least every half a year.
  ii. For those who are considered potential mental illness patients after admission (e.g., having disability certificate or handbook, major illness certificate, diagnosis from psychiatrists, etc.), they would be documented and arranged assessment and treatment from psychiatrists. Patients would be treated accordingly and their conditions would be monitored to decide if there are needs to transfer them to other medic cares or medical imprisonment.
  iii. Except for medical care, there are also regular hygiene education and promotion. Correctional institutes would introduce social resources into their work and organize different leisure activities, family visit, family day and the like. With family support, companion and emotional relief, it is hoped that inmates’ medical conditions would be stabilized.

2. Parole assessment and the follow-up handling:
  i. Currently, parole assessments are made depending on inmates’ committed crimes, their performance after commission (including performance in prison), and the risk of recommission (including crime record). To those who commit crime for the first time, elder, low risk of recommission, or commit crimes of low danger level, the assessment would be more forgiving; to those who commit serious and brutal crime, high risk of recommission or endanger to social order, the assessment would be stricter. Therefore, inmates are not always released right after their sentenced terms. To those who committed serious crime or have a great impact to social security, their paroles would be assessed strictly. If they are not fully regret for their crimes, or if there are high risk of recommission, their parole would not be granted and they would be isolated from the society.
  ii. In the press conference “The New Practices of the Ministry of Justice for Crime Victims’ Rights” on April 28, 2017, the Minister of Justice, Mr. Chiu, Tai-san, announced that the Ministry of Justice was going to establish the announcement mechanism of the situations and releases of felons who committed social-wide concerned crimes. The Agency of Corrections would cooperated with Association for Victims Support (AVS). When it is necessary, AVS would inquire the crime victims’ opinions on the felons’ paroles and send the opinions back to the Agency of Corrections as references. Victims’ opinions are therefore respected and considered.
  iii. According to Article 87 of Prison Act and Article 31 of Mental Health Act, whenever inmates with mental illness are paroled or released after they finish their terms, their family members or appropriate others, as well as the police force and health institutes of their living area would be noticed. The inmates would be escorted home if necessary. If the victims require to be noticed whenever their violators were released or transferred, such application can be made through AVS. It is hoped that all governmental institutes and communities can cooperate seamlessly to provide a social protection network. The Agency of Corrections would carefully attend to inmates with mental illness, and execute all process of parole strictly to avoid the society’s concern or burden.

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