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White Paper on Service for the People

  • Publication Date :
  • Last updated:2024-01-31
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Taipei Prison, Agency of Corrections, Ministry of Justice
White Paper on Service for the People

The White Paper is published to publicize the government’s policy on rendering service to the people, promote the people’s understanding of this prison, maintain the judicial morale, and safeguard human rights of inmates, and carry out the government’s policy down to the base level.

What had we done for the inmates
  1. New measures:
    As soon as an inmate is admitted into this prison, we take these measures:
    1. Physical checkup:
      This is intended to establish a physical checkup table and related disease history. If a disease is detected, appropriate treatment is provided. If there is an external injury, it is recorded according to regulations. Other inmates can also get checkup through outpatient service. If an inmate refuses to receive physical examination, the case will be handled according to law.
    2. Security check:
      All the articles a new inmate brings in with him are thoroughly searched to prevent drugs and weapons from the prison that might affect the emotions of other inmates. After the search, all articles other than those for washing are required to hand over for custody, including cash, valuables, certificates, and clothes. The new inmate is asked about his family for use as the basis of guidance to him. He is also asked to give the telephone number of his family for emergency contact. If the meal time is over, the prison will prepare snack for him. After the meal, he can go to get the prison uniform and other articles.
    3. Ward assignment:
      A new inmate is assigned to an appropriate ward according to his physical and mental state, educational background, career experience, and personality.
  2. Medical treatment and health care
    Medical and outpatient service: In the prison, there are free medical service and self-paid medical service as introduced below:
    1. On a holiday, if a crisis occurs to an inmate, he will be immediately escorted out of prison to seek treatment. Those who have grave diseases that need surgery, dialysis, of hospitalization will be sent to the Medical Treatment Special Quarter under escort.
    2. For treatment in the prison, medications are provided. If an inmate has to be sent out of the prison for treatment, he has to pay for the expenses, including hospital stay.
    3. In the prison, there are a pharmacy, a clinic, sick wards, gurneys, ambulance, and other equipment for basic medical service.
    4. Cooperation Hospital
    5. Outpatient service
      The outpatient service is provided by doctors of Taoyuan Armed Forces General Hospital.
    6. Situation of the sick ward
      The patient beds of this prison are distributed in two blocks. In the first block (where the medical center is located), patients are not allowed to smoke but it is convenient to get treatment. These beds are mainly for use by patients placed under observation, needing injections, or afflicted with grave diseases, and those who are unable to move around. The beds in the second block are reserved for patients with chronic diseases, serious neurological diseases, and suspect TB patients.
    7. Coordination with the reporting system
      To prevent the invasion of communicable diseases, this prison has an emergency plan. Strict examination is made on a suspect case with symptoms of fever and coughing. Disinfectant and bleach solutions are sprayed in every block. Thanks to this strict measure, this prison has passed the epidemic period safely. As long as they can seek treatment in time, take medications on schedule, have enough rest, most sick inmates can recover or greatly improve their conditions.
      1. Health care:
        In cooperation with the health department of the local government and public interest organizations, the prison invites physicians to educate the inmates on such subjects as CPR, TB control, AIDS, and the use of protective gears against SARS and avian flu.
      2. Tests on drug use:
        To keep narcotics out of the prison, the prison has bought an automatic drug density analysis machine for preliminary screening.
      3. Vaccination:
        Flu and other vaccines are administered on schedule to prevent epidemics.
      4. Screening for TB and other epidemics:
        This is done once a year in conjunction with the health bureau and the Center for Disease Control. If a suspect case is detected, the patient is immediately quarantined for further examination.
      5. Environmental maintenance and disinfection:
        All new inmates and those who have been sent to other organizations for interrogation are quarantined for five days. Body temperature is taken every day. Only after they are considered safe, are they returned to their original wards. All inmates entering or leaving the control block are subjected to urine tests, and taking of body temperature. Every emergency plan is implemented to the detail to prevent the invasion of communicable diseases. The environment is disinfected once a day during the emergency. In normal times, it is done once a week. The utensils at the kitchen and in the cooperative store are kept as clean as possible, and a high standard is applied to sanitary practice.
      6. Daily bath
        An inmate usually takes bath once a day. In the winter, hot water is supplied three times a week. Inmates are required to form good sanitation habit. The dirty, dejected and depraved ones are forced to live up to the stipulated standards. If a ward is found in bad sanitary condition, thorough cleaning is ordered. This prison does not allow a few to become communicable disease carriers to threaten the lives of all.
  3. Provisions for livelihood
    This prison is responsible for looking after the lives of its inmates.
    1. Clothing:
      Within the budgetary limits, it supplies its inmates with shirts and trousers in summer and jackets, coats, trousers, cotton comforts, blankets, bed spreads in winter. If more is needed, they can borrow from the prison.
    2. Food:
      Each inmate has NT$2,000 for food every month. The daily share of staple food is 420 grams of brown rice in summer and 440 grams in winter. In addition, there are incomes from labor and profits from the cooperative store. All the money is used for improving the meals of inmates. For breakfast, they have rice porridge, steamed break, soy milk, and a small dish of supplementary food. For lunch and supper, there are two dishes and a soup. The food is enough to fill the stomach. Samples of the dishes are displayed in a conspicuous place at the family reception room. On major festivals, more dishes are supplied for three days on the Chinese New Year and two days each for the Dragon Boat Festival and the Autumn Festival. Since November 2000, the food department of the cooperative store has stopped business on orders of the Ministry of Justice to protect inmates from exploitation and deny wealthy inmates a good life in the prison. All inmates are equal, and nobody is discriminated against.
    3. Lodging:
      Sanitation, ventilation and illumination facilities are installed in every ward according to stipulations. Tidiness, comfort, and sanitation are the must. The number of inmates in a ward is limited to avoid overcrowding and incidents. A discussion on life and meal is held every month in each block to let inmate representatives freely air their views and make proposals. The prison’s policy is: “Being strict in the enforcement of discipline; being lenient in the provision of comfort.”
  4. Psychological counseling and educational activities
    At the start, a new inmate is not calm. Staff members of this prison have to comfort him with patience and compassion. They have to organize various activities for inmates and then proceed to improve their disposition and rectify their personality.
    1. Collective counseling:
      There are 81 volunteers giving 165 educational and counseling sessions. The After-care Association (Taipei and Shilin chapters) sends 22 after-care workers to the prison to assist scores of inmates. Public interest bodies in society are also enthusiastic on sponsoring the activities to show their compassion with the inmates. The Taipei chapter of the Association for the Protection of Crime Victims sends experts to give lectures every month to enable the inmates to understand the various syndromes of the victims. The Taoyuan County government has dispatched a consumer protection official to disseminate the information on consumer protection. The prison authorities screen films for the education of inmates. Besides, Kara OK equipment has been installed in the workshops to allow inmate to sing songs at leisure times. The Xin Tian Gong Temple Cultural Foundation and the Christian After-care Congregation have come to conduct reading classes, enrolling 51 inmates. The 11 educational districts have enrolled 145 more inmates in their reading classes.
    2. Religious edification:
      Religious organizations, including Protestant, Catholic and Buddhist bodies, periodically come to the prison to provide religious edification to inmates. They conduct large-scale activities on major festivals, such as Easter and Christmas. A Mass is held at two o’clock on the first Friday every month. The Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Hsinchu opens religious classes every other Wednesday, and Christian Torch volunteers hold activities periodically.
    3. In view of the deluge of drugs and the surge of HIV/AIDS, the Catholic Lourdes Home sends a sister and volunteers to the prison every Wednesday afternoon to help the inmates. The Taipei AIDS Foundation comes every Thursday to conduct activities.
    4. Every workshop holds, on turn, an outdoor activity each week to cultivate healthy habits and relieve inmates’ mental pressure.
    5. The library has a collection of more than 4,700 titles and compiles a catalogue for reference by inmates in all workshops.
    6. The prison offers inmates telephonic chats with relatives on Chinese New Year’s Day, Dragon Boat Day and Mid-autumn Day, numbering 4,200 calls. Face-to-face meetings are opened on Chinese New Year’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, cram school commencement day, and at the conclusion of various training courses.
  5. Job and skill training
    To train inmates’ skills for making a living and cultivate their diligence, this prison has set up a number of workshops, ranging from printing, sign language, carpentry, food processing, horticulture, pottery to laundry. Besides, this prison is commissioned by outside businesses to make paper bags; assemble clothes hangers, hair clips, roller pens; and tea containers. Realizing the importance of skill training to the corrective effort for inmates, this prison applied to the Ministry of the Interior for the establishment of the Taiwan Taipei Prison Affiliated Vocational Training Center in as early as March 1980. Since, it has cultivated large numbers of technicians in different fields to meet the need of society.
    Beginning in 1982, it has entered cooperation with the vocational training centers, vocational senior high schools, and folk-art studios to provide different training courses. They include lathe and milling machine operation, welding, interior wiring, dress-making for women, industrial wiring, ceramic art, Japanese cuisine, food baking, French cuisine, Shanghai snacks, Taiwan snacks, home-style flour food, and meat delicatessen. In recent years, this prison has actively adjusted the training courses by taking advantage of its geological location. The lathe operation is changed to bakery. At the same time, short-term training courses are offered to enable participants to land their jobs or start their own businesses.

    Situation of this prison’s workshops
    1. Printing:
      The main printing jobs are government gazettes, monthly publications, and reports, such as the Judicial Gazette, Legal Affairs Gazette, and New Life monthly.
    2. Iron workshop:
      It makes hand cuffs, foot shackles, and ward locks for various government correctional institutions.
    3. Carpentry:
      The prison’s carpentry workshop is responsible for making and repairing desks and chairs and cabinets used in various workshops. It also takes orders from private sources.
    4. Sewing:
      The sewing workshop makes uniforms for correctional institutions, Taipei and Shilin Detention Centers, the Taipei Reform School, the Taoyuan Prison, the Taoyuan Women’s Prison as well as this prison.
    5. Food processing workshop:
      At present, it produces Japanese-style boxed food and dumplings for staffs of nearby organizations and this prison.
    6. Farming workshop:
      It grows seasonal vegetables and gourds in open fields or netted fields for use by inmates of this prison.
    7. Horticultural workshop:
      It cultivates flowers and other plants for beautification of this prison.
    8. Pottery workshop:
      It makes traditional Cochin pottery and other artistic ceramic articles.
    9. Laundry workshop:
      It washes and irons clothes and other fabric articles for the Ministry of Justice, Training Institute for Correctional Officers, and this prison.
    State of processing businesses
    Business lines in this category include paper bag processing, clothes hanger assembly, hair clip formation, roller pen assembly and tea container processing.
    So far, this prison has signed processing contracts with 15 organizations.
    Situation of the training business
    This prison opened 13 skill training courses in 10 categories, including industrial wiring and food-baking, and all the 46 participants passed the licensing tests. The other categories of training were Western cakes, Japanese cuisine, ceramic art, appliance repairs and maintenance, making of traditional Chinese furniture, Taiwanese snacks, home-style flour food, and meat delicatessen. Altogether, 253 were trained in the year.
  6. Behavior evaluation:
    The behavior, performance, work, and character of each inmate are evaluated every month for reference in designing corrective measures.
  7. Security control:
    Guard and control personnel enforce discipline in the prison to prevent inmates fighting with each other, staging turbulences, committing suicide, bullying the weak, and other illegal incidences.

What can we do for inmates' families?

  1. Visit:
    The prison received 52,296 applications from inmates’ families for visits. To shorten the waiting time, a number ticket machine was installed. The rejected applicants were immediately informed to avoid them traveling in vain. On national holidays and long weekends, the visit time schedule is published at the entrance or on the Web of the prison.

    The prison also accepts telephone inquiries at 03-3205453.

    Notices and posters from the higher organizations are posted in time at appropriate locations. All information about the inmates, including their presence in the court and their departure from the prison is announced at the least loss of time. The rules for inspecting objects are posted on the counter to seek visitors’ cooperation.

    Petition line: Accusations on irregularities are welcome. If an irregularity is found, an accusation may be made via 03-3191290, or by writing to Taoyuan P.O. Box 6-2 or by e-mail to tppn@mail.moj.gov.tw.
  2. Opinion poll:
    If you find a public servant is rude in rendering service, you may fill out an opinion form and insert it into the superintendent’s mailbox. The responsible official in the prison will handle the case fairly. If the public servant is found wrong, he will be asked to deal with your case according to law. If an offense is made due to ignorance, the offender will get ample explanations.
  3. Application for certificates:
    If a person needs a certificate or wants to get back his deposits, he may make an application to the General Affair Section of the prison. As long as the accompanying documents are complete, the case will be handled without the least loss of time.
  4. Inquiry hotline:
    If a family member wants to know whether his relative is in the prison, he may dial 03-3205453. If he wants to know whether the inmate will appear at the court on the day, whether his imprisonment expires, or whether he is to be transferred to another facility, he may dial 03-3205453 for confirmation before coming to the prison to meet him.

Furture Direction
Recognition of this prison’s effort is the motive force for forward movement. We have to pay constant attention to public need in our administrative reforms. We will listen to the voice of the people and continue to provide them with necessary services. In the future, this prison will move in the following directions.

  1. Enlarge the use of volunteers to strengthen the services of this prison.
  2. Follow through the over-the-counter service for promptness and convenience.
  3. Encourage the public to use the superintendent’s mailbox and the prison’s e-mail account for multiple services.
  4. Push forward e-service in making applications (for visit to an inmate, for imprisonment certificates, and for remote meeting with an inmate).
  5. Promote the use of telephone to apply for a meeting appointment.
  6. Increase the use of the service window for public convenience.
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