• Kyodo News


The Diet passed a bill Friday aimed at tightening measures on people on probation or parole to prevent them from committing further crimes.

The offenders rehabilitation law gives parole officers increased authority in overseeing individuals freed from prison and juvenile detention facilities before completing their sentences.

The House of Councilors enacted the law with the backing of members of all the political parties and groups at the day’s plenary session. The bill cleared the House of Representatives in early May.

The legislation comes in the wake of a series of crimes committed by parolees and probationers in recent years.

Among those repeat offenders was a man who in February 2005 fatally stabbed an 11-month-old boy and injured the infant’s 3-year-old sister in Anjo, Aichi Prefecture.

The man was later found to have been missing from a rehabilitation facility he had been admitted to following his release from prison.

The law requires parolees to meet regularly for interviews with parole officers and to report on their living situation and place of residence.

It also requires some of those under supervision to receive psychological and other health-care consultations intended to prevent them from committing further offenses. The law also allows authorities to temporarily reincarcerate them in facilities designated by the justice minister. Parole or probation would be rescinded if those under supervision fail to perform required duties.

Under the law, crime victims and their relatives are allowed to state their opinions to a parole board before a decision to free an offender is made.

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