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882,000 convicts serve community-based sentences since 2003

(Xinhua)

08:49, February 29, 2012

BEIJING, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- A total of 882,000 convicts have served community-based sentences in China since the country launched such corrections programs in 2003, according to sources with the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) on Tuesday.

Of these convicts, 482,000 have finished their corrections programs, while the remaining convicts are continuing to complete programs aimed at preparing criminals for a smooth return to society, the MOJ said.

According the ministry, China is improving the quality of community-based corrections programs, with 70,000 staff members working in communities and 443,000 volunteers recruited from society.

Community-based corrections and education centers have been established in 469 counties, districts and cities, and 0.2 percent of these convicts commit crimes while serving such sentences, the MOJ said.

China began its community corrections programs in 2003 in Beijing, Shanghai and four other areas, then extended the programs to the rest of the country.

Under such programs, convicts are required to report their behaviors to judicial departments or periodically submit written reports.

The ministry also said that more than 1.5 million people are registered as drug users, and 72 percent of them are under 35.

So far, drug control centers have been established in 22 regions at different levels, and 256 forced quarantine centers have been set up across China, the ministry said.

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