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Towards a lifestyle which avoids reoffending and causing harm to oneself or others
The greatest priority at Shimane Asahi Rehabilitation Program Center is to prevent reoffending by the prisoners and we are dealing with this by taking many diverse initiatives. With the help of the local region’s nature, industry and culture, we are actively putting into practice measures that provide support for the inmates after they are released. For example, we provide effective support for the inmates’ post-release employment through an educational program which offers a wide variety of occupational and work training and thoroughly promotes conversion away from criminal behavior.
■The treatment procedure for inmates
We structurally coordinate classification and education groups from incarceration to release and we take measures to integrate assessment, care and rehabilitation. In addition, through a classifying work support system developed uniquely at Shimane Asahi Rehabilitation Program Center, all kinds of data on the inmates are joined together and information is shared between staff.
With the help of the local region, we aim to create a system which can guarantee the continuance of prison labor by using the prison labor structure to put life into local revitalization.
In order to foster a feeling of closeness to nature's four seasons, at this center we are also carrying out things such as farm work, as part of prison operations and occupational training. In concrete terms, we are engaged in agricultural activities at newly developed housing projects, in woodland management in the “healing forest,” and in the hydroponic cultivation of roses. We are also providing assistance at local pear orchards. Inmates involved in the agricultural activities at newly developed housing complexes receive guidance from local farmers at Hamada City’s agricultural complex, and are involved with tea growing, the greenhouse cultivation of vegetables as well as the organic cultivation of mulberries.
Specific units of inmates are engaged in other activities, including such things as making masks for ancient Shinto singing and dancing, which is a traditional local performing art. They also make Sekishuu paper and Iwami-style ceramics, which are traditional local handicrafts, with the cooperation of local welfare organizations, paper workshops and potteries.
All inmates receive the foundation course of occupational training and are then able to choose their own specialist subjects. The foundation course includes business RPGs which enable the learning of fundamental knowledge about commercial transactions and bookkeeping, basic computing and other things. We provide specialist courses in hairdresser training, nursing, medical office work, bakery training, advanced computing, digital contents editing and others.
Byakuren Academy has established a wide variety of schools within this center and the course in hairdresser training enables study of the knowledge and skills needed to obtain a hairdresser qualification. As part of the Digital Contents Editing course, inmates can learn the knowledge and skills required for editing the images used in homepages as well as editing education-related video contents. The Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology is involved, developing teaching materials and engaged in teacher training. It is a ground-breaking program which involves the involvement of industry, academia and government.
Horticultural Therapy Garden
Making masks for Iwami-style ancient Shinto singing and dancing (image)
Newly Developed Housing Complexes
We are going to actively introduce programs which have been proven to reduce the recidivism rate in Europe and the United States. Education at the facility aims to change the inmates criminal behavior and attitudes to society and rests on three pillars: communal rehabilitation (treatment), which treats the entire environment as a penal correctional facility and therefore a means of betterment and rehabilitation; cognitive behavioral therapy, which aims to motivate inmates to effectively transform the needs which caused them to commit crime; and restorative justice, which provides support to enable inmates to learn about making amends for harmful acts and about how to accept responsibility.
■Contributing to Society
We foster among the inmates a feeling of atonement by conducting educational activities whereby inmates contribute meaningfully to society. We think it extremely important that inmates should feel like part of a community when they return to society and should hope to play a useful part in that society. Shimane Asahi Rehabilitation Program Center has put in place a guide dog puppy raising program, thanks to the cooperation of the Japan Guide Dog Association. This program involves the raising by the inmates of puppies which will become potential guide-dogs. They are reared for about 10 months between the ages of 60 days and 1 year. The inmates taking part in this program spend 24 hours of the day with their dog, feed it, exercise it and look after it, as well as training it, including toilet training. The program is arranged so that the inmates can begin to understand the rules of human society and so that through the puppy the inmates can learn about the building of trusting relationships. The aim of this program is to foster in inmates a mind that cherishes life, and to have them experience the joy of contributing to society. In addition to this, we also carry out Braille translation and transcription activities.
Guide Dog Puppies
Inmates with physical, intellectual or mental handicaps can receive a wide variety of programs that meet their specific needs, such as occupational and physical therapy, group psychotherapy, SST (social skills training), assertion training and introspection programs.