Chapter 4 Custody and Security
Prisons must be securely guarded and may use technical equipment for assistance to ensure security.
Where a prison deems it necessary, it may search and inspect the housing areas of inmates and other locations. In addition, the provisions of Article 14 regarding physical examination and identification shall apply mutatis mutandis to such inspections.
To ensure security, the prison may, to the extent necessary, use technical equipment specified in Paragraph 1 to collect, process, and use personal information of inmates or individuals entering or exiting the prison.
To meet the security purpose, the prison may inspect clothes and items carried by individuals entering or exiting the prison and may use technical equipment to aid the inspection.
The security measures, search, and inspection specified in Paragraph 1, Paragraph 2, and the preceding paragraph may not exceed the necessary extent.
Regulations governing the types, installation, management, usage, data storage, and other requirements for technical equipment specified in Paragraph 1 to Paragraph 4 shall be prescribed by the Ministry of Justice.
A prison may implement protective isolation under any of the following circumstances:
1. An inmate poses a threat to the security of the prison;
2. The safety of an inmate is threatened.
The protective isolation specified in the preceding paragraph shall be approved by senior prison officials. However, in case of emergency, such measures may be implemented without prior approval but must be immediately reported to the senior prison officials.
A prison shall regularly report the decisions made on measures in Paragraph 1 to the supervisory authority for reference. After the prison implements protective isolation, in addition to notifying the inmate in a written format, it shall notify the inmate’s family member or nearest relative and arrange medical personnel to conduct continuous evaluation of the physical and mental conditions of the inmate. Where medical personnel deem the inmate unfit any of conditions for continuous protective isolation, it should be discontinued. Where there are multiple family members or nearest relatives, the prison is only required to notify one such individual.
The protective isolation specified in Paragraph 1 may not exceed the necessary extent, shall be immediately terminated once the reason ceases to exist, and may not last for more than fifteen (15) days.
Regulations governing the daily routines, treatment, limitations, and restrictions of inmates in protective isolation under Paragraph 1, the notifications specified in Paragraph 3, and other requirements shall be prescribed by the Ministry of Justice.
A prison may use guard instruments, protective restraint, placement in a protective cell, or a combination of the above measures for inmates having any of the following situations:
1. There is likelihood that the inmate may attempt to escape, commit self-harm, violent act or other acts that disrupt order;
2. Such measures are necessary for medical procedures that restraint is required for preventing endangerment.
A prison may not use the guard instruments, protective restraint, or placement in a protective cell specified in the preceding paragraph as ways to punish inmates. The use of protective restraint may not exceed four hours each time; placement in a protective cell may not exceed 24 hours each time. In addition to notifying the inmate in a written format, the prison shall also notify the inmate’s family member or nearest relative. Where there are multiple family members or nearest relatives, the prison is only required to notify one such individual.
Guard instruments are limited to leg shackles, handcuffs, chains and ropes approved by the Ministry of Justice. Where the use of guard instruments exceeds four hours, the prison is required to make a record, ask for the inmate’s signature, and give the inmate a copy of the record. The use of guard instruments may not exceed forty-eight hours each time and the starting and ending time must be documented. However, the preceding restrictions shall not apply if the inmate commits violent acts or if there are other disruptive acts that cause commotions or riots and the prison deems it necessary to continue the use.
The measures specified in Paragraph 1 shall be approved by senior prison officials. However, in case of emergency, such measures may be implemented without prior approval but must be immediately reported to senior prison officials for approval. The prison shall regularly report the implementation status of measures in Paragraph 1 to the supervisory authority for reference.
Where an inmate is subject to measures in Paragraph 1, the prison shall promptly arrange medical personnel to evaluate the physical and mental conditions of the inmate and provide proper assistance. Where the prison deems it necessary to terminate or change the measures, it shall report to senior prison officials immediately and the senior official should take other appropriate actions.
Regulations governing the procedures, methods, and specifications for the use of guard instruments, protective restraint and placement in a protective cell in Paragraph 1, and notifications specified in Paragraph 2, and other requirements shall be prescribed by the Ministry of Justice.
Where a prison escorts an inmate outside under custody and deems that the inmate may attempt to escape, commit self-harm or violent act, guard instruments may be used with the approval from senior prison officials. However, the use of guard instruments may not exceed the necessary extent .
When inmates go out or conduct activities outside the prison, the prison may use technical equipment to implement electronic monitoring measures.
Correctional officers may use batons, knives, firearms, and other weapons approved by the Ministry of Justice to implement necessary measures under any of the following circumstances:
1. An inmate uses violence or coercion to threaten the lives, physical safety or freedom of others or there is sufficient evidence of imminent act of violence or threat.
2. An inmate is in possession of an object that enables him/her to engage in the act of violence or threat and the inmate refuses to obey order to drop such an object.
3. An inmate assembles a crowd for riot or commits other disruptive acts and refuses to obey order to stop;
4. An inmate escapes or attempts to escape and refuses to stop when ordered;
5. The equipment or facilities of the prison is plundered or damaged or there are sufficient facts indicating the likelihood of equipment or facilities being damaged.
Correctional officers may use firearms only when their lives or the lives of others are in imminent danger, and the use of firearms may not be excessive.
Regulations governing the types, timing and method of use, and other requirements for batons, knives, firearms, and weapons specified in the two preceding paragraphs shall be prescribed by the Ministry of Justice.
In the event of a major extraordinary incident, a prison may, where necessary, request police or other relevant agencies to provide assistance in order to enhance security, custody, and control of inmates.
In the event of a natural disaster or incident, inmates may be assigned to do disaster prevention jobs and rescue tasks to ensure the safety of prison facilities and inmates.
Where a prison cannot provide shelter in the event of a natural disaster or incident, the inmates may be escorted to an alternative facility. Where the escort cannot be facilitated in a timely manner, the inmates may be temporarily released.
The inmates temporarily released in accordance with the preceding paragraph shall report to the prison or a police agency within 48 hours after being released. Inmates that report in a timely manner may have their release period counted as time served; those that fail to report in a timely manner shall be processed as escapees.
In the event of the death of an inmate’s grandparent, parent, parent of spouse, spouse, child, or sibling, the inmate may, with approval from senior prison officials, go home for a visit under escort and then return to the prison within 24 hours. The duration of the visit will be counted as time served.
The provisions of the preceding paragraph shall apply mutatis mutandis to an inmate who needs to go home for a visit due to a major or extraordinary incident. In such a case, the visit shall be reported to the supervisory authority and approved.
Regulations governing the criteria for inmates’ home visits, eligible individuals, number of visits, duration, expenses, implementation methods, approval procedures, review standards, changes or cancellation after approval, and other requirements shall be prescribed by the Ministry of Justice.
An inmate who has been imprisoned for more than three months and performed well may apply to the supervisory authority for approval of leaving the prison for a certain period of time. This shall not apply, however, to inmates whose conditions are not suitable for prison leave.
An inmate who is permitted to leave temporarily should return to prison within the designated period, or report to the designated institution if necessary.
Where an inmate violates the prison leave rules or has been found failing to meet relevant qualifications and conditions set out in Paragraph 5 while out of prison, the approval for the inmate’s leave may be changed or canceled. Where an approved leave is canceled, the duration out of prison shall not be counted as time served. An inmate with good behavior while on prison leave may be rewarded.
If an inmate does not return to prison or report to a designated institution within the designated period without a legitimate reason, the duration out of prison shall not be counted as time served and the inmate shall be regarded as an escapee.
Regulations governing the qualifications, conditions, implementation methods, duration, security management method, requirements, approval procedures, changes, cancellation, and other relevant matters shall be prescribed by the Ministry of Justice.
A prison may select inmates with special talents or skills and, after obtaining the inmates’ approval, request the supervisory authority for approval of escorting the inmates to participate in public welfare activities, art and cultural performances, professional skill certification, talent competitions, or other activities beneficial to the rehabilitation of inmates.