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(1,837 words)

Author(s): Dutton, Michael
Crime has been one of the biggest "growth industries" of the economic reform period. It has not only increased in the reform era but the underlying motivations spurring it on, together with changing criminal methods, changing demographics, and changes in the age of criminals have complicated the picture enormously since the Mao years. This, in turn, has shown the state's "mass-line" preventative policing techniques and "reform through labor" (laogai) rehabilitative methods to be inadequate to the tasks of crime prevention and criminal transformation. A police fo…

Penal System

(1,810 words)

Author(s): Dutton, Michael
On December 29, 1994, the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People's Congress passed the People's Republic of China Prison Law. For the first time in its post-revolution history, the system of penal detention and correction in China was collectively referred to as a prison system. Certainly, prisons had been mentioned before this, but then the term invariably referred to the older prison buildings in cities that were an inheritance from the pre-Communist government. The penal system, up until 1994, was referred to collectively as the "reform through labor" system (laogai). Th…


(1,012 words)

Author(s): Dutton, Michael
On November 1, 1949, the Ministry of Public Security was established. Led by Luo Ruiqing, armed with their own version of the mass line, and dominated by a myriad of party committees offering comprehensive leadership, the central concern of this ministry was to defend both party and state. It is clear, however, that party defense dominated the agenda. Party leadership is maintained within the force through a shadow structure of party committees that parallel each level of the public security str…