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Q1: What are the regulations on visitation and correspondence with inmates?

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  • Last updated:2019-08-07
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[Ans:]
  1. Subjects:
    • According to regulations of the Law of Execution in Prison and its enforcement rules, only close relatives and members of the same house as the inmate are allowed to visit and correspond with inmates. However, for special reasons the prison may allow others to visit and correspond with inmates.
      1. Close relatives include spouse, lineal relative by blood, and collateral relative by blood within the third degree or by marriage within the second degree. According to Article 1123 of the Civil Code, Persons who are not relatives but who live in the same household with the object of maintaining the common living permanently are deemed to be the members of the house.
      2. Others with special reasons that indeed require them to visit and correspond with inmates may do so if they do not affect prison discipline. Visitors should provide documents proving their relationship with the inmate or data investigated by the prison.
    • Inmates of foreign nationality or no nationality may correspond with their closest relatives and members of the same house; they may also be visited or corresponded with by diplomats and consulate officials of their country or representing state, as well as international institutions or religious workers.
  2. Time, number of visits and place:
    • Visiting hours are from 8:15 to 11:30 A.M. and from 1:30 to 4:00 P.M. The Prison will also be open on the first Sunday of each month for visiting as part of its public services.
    • The number of visits allowed is as follows:
      1. Level 4 or unclassified inmates may be visited once a week.
      2. Level 3 inmates may be visited once every 5 days.
      3. Level 2 inmates may be visited once every 3 days.
      4. There is no limit on the number of times level 1 inmates may be visited, as long as it does not affect prison management and discipline.
    • Inmates are to be visited in the reception room, but may be visited elsewhere for disciplinary needs or if sick.
  3. Resolving difficulty with mail sending:
    • Postage should be provided by the inmate, but will be provided by the prison under special circumstances.
    • If inmates are illiterate or cannot write, the prison will assign someone to write on behalf, and the letter will be sealed or signed by the inmate. If the inmate is unable to sign the inmates name, then the person assigned will write the inmate's name and the inmate will seal or press her fingerprint on the letter; the person assigned should attach a record of letter writing and sign his/her name.
  4. Limitations on visitation and correspondence:
    • Chinese language and characters must be used during visits and correspondence; symbols and codes are prohibited. However, blind or deaf inmates may use sign language or Braille; inmates of foreign nationality or no nationality may use their country or international language and characters.
    • Letters sent and received by inmates are examined by prison officials. When contents are deemed to hinder prison discipline, if the inmate is the sender, the inmate will be required to explain the reason for such content and erase the content before the mail may be sent; if the inmate is the recipient, the inmate will be required to explain the reason for such content, after which the content will be erased before the inmate will receive the letter.
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