S-Space College of Law/Law School (법과대학/대학원) The Law Research Institute (법학연구소) 법학 법학 Volume 40, Number 1 (2000)
한국 교정의 딜레마와 당면과제
The Dilemma of Correction in Korea: Present to Future
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 법학연구소
- 법학, Vol.40 No.1, pp. 300-332
- Prisons are insulated from outside world by the wall and cell. Closed correction system up to present has been preferred by the state for concealing the dark side of authoritarian prison regime. Community members are negative to the conception of prison in their neighborhood. Much misunderstanding has been accumulated due to the scanty opportunity of contact and dialogue between inside and outside the wall. This study is a finding of the dilemma of corrections by the visiting research of Korean prisons. Such dilemma may be reflected in the decision-making process and practices of the prison staffs who have to respond to the conflicting, changing social pressure. I define the typology of such dilemma in corrections as follows; namely, security vs. rehabilitation, discipline vs. human rights, exclusion vs. integration, and state monopoly vs. privatization. And I would like to discuss the desirable alternatives to the existing problems. Korean correctional institutions are facing very hard times due to economic crisis of 1998. Prison overcrowding, large-scale accommodation, and scanty manpower may be recorded as three difficult problems. Under such conditions, rehabilitation-oriented policy cannot help yielding to the bureaucratic security-centred management. Security tends to depend upon the technical devices a lot, while rehabilitation needs face-to-face contact between the contact person and the inmates. This point suggests the policy orientation that better technical investments are needed for better security, and better professional knowledge and skills are needed for better rehabilitation. Prison is often called the dead angle from the perspective of the human rights. Democratization process since 1987 has driven to less regulation, and more liberalization in the correctional field, also. Writing letters, reading newspapers, watching TV, and telephoning are now possible under control Modernization of Correction is an on-going governmental project. The speed of legalization is, however, slower than liberalization in correctional field. Constitutional Court declared that Rule of constitutional law should be applied to the correctional field, and the lawsuit concerning the treatment of prisoners is open. But, the attitude of prison staffs seems to be reluctant to widen the rights of prisons. Pressure from beside or below for legalization should be added to the on-going liberalization project from above. The relationship between the prison and the community may be contradictory. Community pushes out prison to the province distant from the city area, and rebukes its incompetence to rehabilitation of prisoners, notwithstanding the fact that prison has to seek the resources for correctional services from the community. I believe the primary task of prison authority in Korea may strengthen the intimacy with the community. Such feeling of intimacy may help prison authority get the resources needed for correctional services. Among the symbolic programs for intimacy, it may be recommendable to adopt the conjugal visitation, and various visiting programs. Openness, Safety, Productivity, and Intimacy may function as the good guiding principle. Criminal justice and correction have been regarded as the (last) state jurisdiction. However, the myth of state correction is challenged by the growing private correction in some nations. It is interesting that the attitude of prison authority toward privatization is shifting from negative to more permissive. Such a shift reflects the expectation of privatization as a solution to growing prison overcrowding. I argue privatization should be regarded as a kind of catalyst for the change in the attitude of prison officials who are more bureaucratic, more expensive, less enthusiastic to the community relations.