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Hou Yu-ih reacts to controversy on minimum-security prisons

Reporter Huang-Chi Ho
Release time:2023/07/11 17:12
Last update time:2023/07/11 17:16
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NEW TAIPEI (TVBS News) — New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih lashed at the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Tuesday (July 11) for their alleged slow response in amending laws regarding the transfer of criminals to minimum-security prisons.

The presidential candidate for the opposition Kuomintang was responding to online comments a day earlier about the transfer of a cop-killing criminal to a minimum-security prison which has sparked a public outcry. 

 

In 2022, Lin Hsin-wu, a fugitive who escaped from Mingde Minimum-Security Prison, fatally stabbed two Tainan police officers, leading to public outcry and demands for stricter laws regarding minimum-security prisons.

The recent revelation of Yi Pao-hung, a criminal convicted of killing a police officer at a nightclub in 2014, being transferred to a minimum-security prison has again sparked public rage and raised questions about the security loopholes in such institutions, considering the loss of two police officers in 2022.

During a press briefing on Monday, Vice President Lai Ching-te emphasized the need for the Correctional Agency under the Ministry of Justice to explain clearly to the public, highlighting that minimum-security prisons are not intended for those convicted of serious crimes.
 

When questioned about this matter, Hou criticized the DPP for their slow response in amending the law. With over 30 years of experience in the police force, Hou stated that this issue "rubbed salt into the wounds" of the police, criticizing the DPP for making promises only when elections approach.

Due to the absence of surrounding walls and relaxed management methods, combined with prisoners' rights to go home on leave, it is comparatively easier for inmates to escape from minimum-security prisons than from conventional ones successfully.

The Correctional Agency has disclosed that as of August 23, 2022, 49 prisoners have escaped from minimum-security prisons in the past decade, with 45 absconding while on home leave and four fleeing directly from the institutions.

In 2020, the Supervisory Committee publicly urged the Correctional Agency to review and improve the existing regulations for minimum-security prisons. They suggested that the agency gather information about inmates' whereabouts from relevant parties and establish corresponding comprehensive measures.

Taiwan Affairs

#Taiwan#Hou Yu-ih#New Taipei#DPP#minimum security prison

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