History of Corrections and What We Do


Correction Bureau

 The Correction Bureau was established as the Prison Bureau of the Ministry of Home Affairs in 1879. Its name changed over the years to the Prison Administration Bureau, the Criminal Policy Bureau, the Correction and Rehabilitation Bureau, as the Ministry itself changed its name, responsibility and duties. The Bureau’s name was changed to its current form in 1952. It is responsible for overall correctional administration, which includes giving guidance and supervision for matters concerning security, assessment and social rehabilitation prison work, education, medical treatment and hygiene to provide appropriate treatment for inmates in correctional institutions (prisons, juvenile prisons, detention houses, juvenile training schools, juvenile classification homes, and women’s guidance homes), and also conducting research on new treatment methods in line with recent correctional trends.

Regional Correction Headquarters

 Regional correction headquarters are local branch offices that divide the work of the Correction Bureau to supervise a number of facilities in the jurisdiction, and coordinate guidance and supervision for appropriate management and operation of each facility.
 Regional correction headquarters release periodic reviews of the treatment information of the jurisdiction. Journalists who are interested in participating in press briefings are welcome to contact the relevant regional correction headquarters.

 Regional Correction Headquarters Locations Nationwide

Penal Institutions (Prisons / Juvenile Prisons / Detention Houses)

 The modern prison system in Japan began with the enactment of Prison Regulations in 1872 and was established by the Prison Act enacted in 1908. The legal term for prison in Japanese “Kangoku” that appears in Organization Act was changed in 1922 to prison and juvenile prison (“Keimusho” and “Shonen-Keimusho”), and facilities that mainly house persons under detention became referred to as detention houses in 1937.
 The Prison Act was revised and subsequently abolished. The legal term for prison in Japanese (“Kangoku”) was changed to penal institution (“Keiji-Shisetsu”) by new law, the “Act on Penal Detention Facilities and the Treatment of Inmates and Detainees”. Prisons, juvenile prisons, and detention houses were established as penal institutions under this new law.

 Penal Institutions

 Penal Institution Locations Nationwide

Juvenile Training Schools

 Juvenile training schools were established as reformatories (“Kyoseiin”) in 1922. The legal term of the institution in Japanese was changed to “Shonenin” following the revision of the Juvenile Act based on new philosophies in juvenile protection in 1948. In 2015, the Juvenile Training School Act was completely revised and enacted.

 Juvenile Training Schools

 Juvenile Training Schools Locations Nationwide

Juvenile Classification Homes

 Juvenile shelters and juvenile classification homes (only carried out classification at the time) that were established with the revision of the Juvenile Act in 1949, merged to become juvenile protection classification homes in 1950, and their name changed to juvenile classification homes in 1952. In 2015, the Juvenile Classification Home Act was newly enacted.

 Juvenile Classification Homes

 Juvenile Classification Home Locations Nationwide

Women’s Guidance Homes

 Women's guidance homes are facilities under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice that provide the guidance necessary to accommodate and rehabilitate women 20 years of age or older who have been given guidance measures under the Anti-Prostitution Act.

 Women’s Guidance Homes

 Women's Guidance Home Locations Nationwide

What We Do

Penal Institutions

 Penal institutions are divided into prisons, juvenile prisons and detention houses. Detention houses mainly hold suspects and those accused of crimes in detention. Along with preventing detainees awaiting judicial decisions from absconding or destroying evidence, detention houses give due consideration in order not to impede their right to a fair defense and trial.

 Prisons and juvenile prisons are different from detention houses in that the following treatments are provided to the inmates throughout the execution of the sentences in order to cultivate the ability to adapt to social life and stimulate the motivation to rehabilitate.

 Penal Institutions

 Detail about Prison Work and Vocational Training

 First of all, to formulate treatment guidelines, it is necessary for each penal institution to conduct an assessment of the personality and circumstances of each newly sentenced inmate (treatment assessment), and to determine treatment guidelines for each inmate. Then, inmates sentenced to imprisonment with work, who make up the majority of inmates, are assigned to work. This work is intended, as much as possible, to raise the willingness of inmates to work to encourage acquisition of vocationally useful knowledge and skills. The types of work cover a wide range, and the main industries include woodworking, printing, dressmaking, and metal and leather working.

 In addition, in general training facilities established in eight locations throughout the country, vocational training of inmates is carried out predominantly, and inmates who have completed the prescribed training are issued a vocational training certificate by the head of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare’s Human Resources Development Bureau.

 The main guidance for sentenced inmates are: guidance at the commencement of the sentence and guidance before release, guidance for reform, guidance in school courses, advice and instruction by “voluntary visitors”, and recreation.

 In penal institutions, it is necessary to guarantee appropriate living conditions for inmates. For example, the provision of food, clothing, bedding, daily necessities, and opportunities for exercise and bathing. Due consideration is given to hygiene and health management. When inmates suffer from disease, doctors at the facility take care of them. Therefore, each facility is equipped with medical equipment and doctors and nurses are allocated. Those who need special treatment are housed in medical prisons. In addition, when treating inmates, due consideration is given to sending and receiving letters, conducting visits, and reading books.

Single Room

 Group Room


Shower Room

  Waiting Room for Visitors

Juvenile Training Schools

 Juvenile training schools are facilities under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice that provide correctional education and reintegration support for the purpose of fostering the sound development of juveniles sent as a protective measure by family courts.

 Juvenile training schools are divided into three categories depending on the age and mental condition of the inmates: type 1, type 2 and type 3. It is decided in the family court which type of juvenile training school is appropriate for the juvenile.
 In addition, boys and girls have separate facilities except for type 3. There are also type 4 juvenile training schools that accommodate those who are subject to execution of sentence.

 Each juvenile training school has a designated correctional education curriculum that defines the main content of correctional education and a standard education period.

 Each juvenile training school adopts “juvenile training school correctional education curriculums” correspondingly to the correctional education curriculums designated to the facility, that stipulate the objectives, contents, and implementation methods and other necessary matters. On that basis, according to the characteristics and educational needs of each and every juvenile, and referring to the information and opinions of family courts and juvenile classification homes, “personalized correctional education programs” are designed and carried out.

 Juvenile Training Schools

Juvenile Classification Homes

 Juvenile classification homes are facilities under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice with the duty of (1) conducting classification according to requests from family courts, (2) conducting necessary treatment for observation and protection for those housed in juvenile classification homes with measures for observation and protection, and (3) providing assistance to prevent delinquencies and crimes in local communities.
 Classification clarifies the problems of qualitative and environmental circumstances that caused the delinquencies and crimes based on specialized knowledge and techniques such as medicine, psychology, pedagogy and sociology, and indicating appropriate guidelines in order to contribute to the improvement of those circumstances.      

 In addition, juvenile classification homes work as "Ministry of Justice Support Centers " of the Ministry of Justice to support activities related to sound development and the prevention of delinquencies and crimes in the community, collaborating with related organizations and groups involved in the sound development of young people such as child welfare institutions, schools and educational institutions, and private organizations including NPOs, by utilizing expertise and know-how related to problems regarding delinquencies and crimes, and understanding of the behavior of adolescents.

  Juvenile Classification Homes

Women’s Guidance Homes

 Women's guidance homes are facilities that provide the guidance necessary to accommodate and rehabilitate those who have been given “guidance” under the Anti-Prostitution Act. This guidance is made at the discretion of the court when the execution of a sentence is suspended for a woman 20 years of age or older who has performed acts such as solicitation for the purpose of prostitution.
 At women's guidance homes, women who have unfortunate living capabilities or circumstances are accommodated in a protective environment, and under a disciplined structure, necessary lifestyle guidance and vocational guidance to adapt to life in society are provided, and medical care for mental and physical disorders that may interfere with their rehabilitation is also given.

 Women's Guidance Homes

The Ministry of Justice

1-1-1 Kasumigaseki,Chiyoda-ku,Tokyo 100-8977,Japan
JCN 1000012030001 (JCN:Japan Corporate Number)

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