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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 136570 Find in a Library
Title: Chinese Prison Labor
Journal: Society  Dated:(November/December 1991)  Pages:49-59
Author(s): S W Mosher
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 11
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The goal of labor reform and re-education camps (Laogai Ying) in China is to transform prisoners into new socialist individuals through the study of approved documents and self-criticism and through hard labor.
Abstract: The Laogai system is a natural outgrowth of a political system that seeks to bring all Chinese under the control of government autocracy. Over the past 40 years, Laogai production using unskilled labor has included hydroelectric dams, roads, wasteland reclamation, and building construction. Six basic types of organizational units fall within the Laogai system: prisons, usually located near large and medium-sized cities; labor reform battalions, usually located in the countryside; re-education through labor battalions; forced job placement battalions comprised of ex-prisoners who have served their sentences and are kept on in internal exile; detention centers for people not yet charged; and juvenile facilities. The Laogai system includes three prisoner types: those formally arrested, charged, and found guilty of criminal acts who are sentenced to labor reform; those administratively sentenced to re-education through labor by public security forces without judicial review; and individuals required to remain within the confines of a Laogai camp following the completion of their sentence under the policy of forced job placement. Published estimates of the number of labor camps range from 1,000 to 5,000, and estimates of the total number in camps vary widely from 2 to 21 million. According to official government sources, the total value of goods produced by nonlabor re-education prisoners approximated $1.5 billion in 1988. The use of prisoners as productive labor is discussed along with Chinese use of the contract system and special schools and prohibitions in the United States against the import of Laogai goods.
Main Term(s): Foreign correctional systems
Index Term(s): China; Correctional industries; Foreign correctional facilities; Foreign inmates; Political influences
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