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Nagoya Prison officers allegedly committed 400 cases of misconduct

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Nagoya Prison in Miyoshi, Aichi Prefecture

Twenty-two correctional officers at Nagoya Prison allegedly committed over 400 cases of misconduct, including assault, according to sources.

The correctional officers allegedly assaulted three inmates in their 40s to 60s several times between November 2021 and August this year, hitting them, spraying alcohol on their faces and grabbing them by the collar.

According to sources and Justice Ministry announcements, there were more than 100 cases of physical assault against the three inmates, with injuries confirmed in one case, and more than 300 cases of inappropriate treatment, including verbal abuse such as calling them “idiots” and throwing dishes and eating utensils into their cells.

Authorities are considering taking strict action against the officers, who are believed to have committed the misconduct on a regular basis.

The Justice Ministry will convene a panel of experts to investigate the misconduct and formulate measures to prevent a recurrence.

The panel’s first meeting might be held by the end of the year.

“The use of violence by officers at correctional facilities must never be tolerated. These institutions are supposed to respect the human rights of inmates and treat them appropriately,” Japan Federation of Bar Associations President Motoji Kobayashi said in a statement released Wednesday. “[The incidents] deserve the utmost condemnation.”

The statement also referred to incidents at Nagoya Prison in 2001 and 2002 in which two inmates were killed and one was injured.

Kobayashi called for nationwide investigations by an independent panel and effective measures to prevent a recurrence.

“That assaults were once again conducted on a large scale and over a prolonged period at the same prison is extremely serious,” he said in the statement.