Cooperation between correctional institutions and local community
Mizuho Konno (B3)
On 16th November 2018, Mr. Keigo Tosaka who works at the Ministry of Justice, Tokyo correction district manager of rehabilitation support planning department, gave a lecture for students of Utsunomiya University. He talked about the organizational structure of the Ministry of Justice, detective facilities, measures of the prevention for the second conviction and the cooperation with the local community in the correction administration. Especially, I am very interested in the relationship between local community and correction through the lecture and the round-table talk which was held after the lecture.
It was initially difficult to imagine the cooperative relationship between correction facilities and local community because I have never lived in a city where a correction facility is located nearby. However, Mr. Tosaka introduced some examples and kindly explained their work to us . First, it is sometimes used for a disaster protection center. When Kumamoto earthquake occurred, Kumamoto prison provided disaster victims with special bathing facilities and hot meals. Second, the prison industry contributes to the sector of regional traditional crafts which have a problem of successor shortage. For example, prisoners in Aomori prison produce “Tsugarunuri” with lacquer ware which is one of the famous products in Tsugaru, Aomori prefecture. As another example, prisoners in Okayama prison make “Bizenyaki” and prisoners in Yamaguchi make “Hagiyaki”. While many traditional crafts decline due to labor shortage, I felt the above contribution would make good relationship between them. Finally, some correctional institutions deliver educational programs. A famous one is a puppy program by Shimane Asahi Rehabilitation Center. The puppies, who are the candidates of guide dogs for handicapped persons, are brought up to prisoners and local residents. Moreover, this center carries out correspondence program between prisoners and regional participants to build a good relationship. In this way, correctional institutions and local residents are cooperating.
The area that has a correctional institution holds a meeting with local government, city or town hall to encourage their communication. In the meeting, people discussed the ways of the promotion of preventive measures against second convictions in the area, information exchange for the regional effective measures and the way of outreach for local residents.
I used to have a negative image for correctional program before this lecture. However, I was able to know the role of it and also understand that they try to make a good relationship with local residents. I will continue to acquire new knowledge for my graduation research. Last but not least, I appreciate Mr. Tosaka for giving us such a great opportunity.