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Probation Service

A Family Court shall subject a juvenile under protective measures, such as the placement of the juvenile under probation by the probation office. Offenders Rehabilitation Act (Act No. 88 of 2007) reviews probation services in detail. According to Article 48 of this Act, probation should be initiated for the following individuals: (i) persons under the protective measures specified in Article 24 of the Juvenile Law, (ii) persons for whom release on parole from the juvenile training school is permitted and who are under probation pursuant to the provision of Article 40, (iii) persons for whom release on parole is permitted and who are under probation pursuant to the provision of Article 40, and (iv) persons under probation pursuant to the provision of paragraph (1) of Article 25-2 of the Penal Code.

The probationers and parolees shall comply with the “general conditions” and the “special conditions.” Additionally, the director of the probation office may, if deemed necessary in conducting the instruction and supervision of the probation suitably for the probationers and parolees, establish guidelines for life and conduct that contributes to the improvement and rehabilitation of such probationers and parolees. Except for the public probation officers, there are volunteer probation officers (VPOs), in the spirit of volunteer social service, to assist juvenile offenders in their efforts to improve and rehabilitate themselves. Other duties of these VPOs include enlightening the public on crime prevention, thereby enhancing the local community and contributing to the welfare of both individuals and the public (Imafuku 2015 a, b).

When there is a request pursuant to the provisions of Article 67, paragraph (2) of the Offenders Rehabilitation Act, the Family Court shall subject a person with regard to whom a ruling determines that grounds exist indicating that the person failed to comply with compliance rules. Furthermore, the person must have failed to adhere to these rules despite warnings as prescribed in Article 67, paragraph (1) of the Offenders Rehabilitation Act, that the failure is so serious, and that the educational and supervisory measures in place are not sufficient to improve or rehabilitate the person.

Referral to a Children’s Self-Reliance Support Facility or a Foster Home When a juvenile who committed a minor crime needs to be strongly protected from his/her environment (e.g., parents not involved), a Family Court judge makes discussion concerning whether to refer the juvenile to a children’s selfreliance support facility or a foster home (Toshio 2015). As subjects to the Child Welfare Act, juveniles are defined as a person under 18 years of age. The director of the child guidance center shall take a measure set forth in Article 26 of the Child Welfare Act when he or she finds this to be necessary for a child. The report is primarily developed by the child’s guardian or an expectant and nursing mother for whom consultation is provided. According to Article 27 of the Child Welfare Act, a prefectural government shall take a measure set forth in any of the following items of Article 27 with regard to a child for whom a report pursuant to the paragraph. The following items include the entrusting of the child to a foster parent, or admission of the child into an infant home, a foster home, an institution for mentally retarded children, a daycare institution for mentally retarded children, an institution for blind or deaf children, an institution for periodically impaired children, an institution for severely retarded children, a short-term therapeutic institution for emotionally disturbed children, or a children’s selfreliance support facility. When it is necessary to take a compulsory measure that may unintentionally be conducive to restrictions on a child’s liberty of action or deprivation of his or her liberty, the prefectural government shall refer that case to the Family Court.

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