China grants prisoners Spring Festival furlough

China has allowed prisoners to go home for the Chinese lunar new year.

News website thepaper.cn reported that East China's Fujian Province has allowed 34 prisoners to go home for Spring Festival, which falls on February 16 this year.

The prisoners, whose passes were granted based on good behavior, will be able to enjoy up to five days with their families.

The Fujian prison management bureau said prisoners were allowed to wear casual clothes and will not be escorted by the police. When the holiday is over, they were told to return to prison by themselves.

During the holiday, prisoners will not be allowed to gamble, drink excessively, drive any vehicle and enter any entertainment venues such as bars or KTVs. They are also strictly forbidden from approaching their victims.

Police will make phone calls to check on the prisoners or visit their home if necessary.

Meanwhile, ten prisoners in Shanghai were also granted a five-day holiday for Spring Festival with their families this year. They were asked to wear an electronic bracelet with an embedded GPS system to allow police to monitor their whereabouts. They were also required to register at local public security bureaus and report daily to prison authorities.

Southwest China's Sichuan Province and Northwest China's Shaanxi Province have likewise granted similar visits.

This year, around 260 prisoners in Sichuan Province were allowed to go home for the lunar new year holiday, the largest number among all Chinese provincial regions. Since 2007, 4,173 prisoners in Sichuan have spent Spring Festival with their families and returned without incident.

Shaanxi Province also granted passes to over 100 prisoners this year. The Beijing Youth Daily reported that Shaanxi imposed strict criteria in selecting prisoners. Terrorists, drug dealers, gang members and those involved in duty-related or financial crimes are not eligible for the passes.

Global Times


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