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Prisoners and families catch up online

08-31-2010 09:06 BJT

China acknowledges prisoners' rights to chat with their family while serving their sentence behind bars. That's why a Yuhang prison in East China's Hangzhou city has set-up computers for online chats for families too far away or too expensive to visit.

Qin, who's from southwest China's Chongqing municipality, is the first prisoner to talk to his family over the Internet.

His parents and sister's words and Qin's regret leads him to break down into tears.

Qin said, "I will behave afterwards. Only so I can get back to my family."

Eight months ago, Yang was detained for getting into street fights. He says he can't stop thinking about his sick mother who is thousands of miles away.

Through video chat, Yang was finally able to speak directly to his mother and confess his shame of his actions.

Yang said, "I've already felt guilty for letting my parents down. To have them come a long way to meet me here will make me feel worse."

About 70 percent of prisoners here in Yuhang are not Hangzhou locals. Legally, they all have the right to receive family visits. But, in reality, it's often too far or too expensive for the families to travel and afford such visits.

Jin Yongzhe, Vice-Director, Yuhang Detention House, Hangzhou, said, "We integrate technologies in management. To prisoners, meeting with families can also help them get through the prison days and change for better."

Officials say apart from detainees whose crimes are still under investigation, prisoners and families can both apply for an online chat.

Once approved, they will be given the chance to meet and chat through the Internet at a specific time.

So far, 23 prisoners in Yuhang have taken up the generous opportunity.

Editor:Zhang Jingya |Source: CNTV

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