In China, some two thousand inmates at Peking prison are being reformed through labour and ideological education.
GV EXTERIOR Gate of Peking prison
GV/SVs INTERIOR Prison workshops (4 shots)
SV Textile workshop (3 shots)
SV PAN Prisoners' cells and beds
CU Prison deputy warden speaking in Chinese
SV men working in garden
SV Engineering workshops (2 shots)
GV & SVs Women prisoners working (4 shots)
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Background: In China, some two thousand inmates at Peking prison are being reformed through labour and ideological education. The prisoners are held for criminal offences such as theft, assault or rape. Officials have, however, admitted that there are almost one hundred people in the president who have been jailed for counter-revolutionary activities. The prison is considered a more attractive proposition than the work camps, where many are despatched for "reform through labour". The police have the power to send people to these camps for up to three years -- without trial.
SYNOPSIS: Inmates work an eight-hour day in the sock factory, producing more than six million pairs of socks per day. The prisoners get one day off a week and pocket money every month. Those who show special ideological fervour may receive a cash bonus. After work, inmates are expected to spend at least two hours studying the People's Daily - the official Chinese newspaper. Only four percent of released prisoners return to crime.
Posters showing Mao Tse-Tung are pinned to corridor walls, his slogans reinforcing the ideological message. Conditions are cramped -- inmates sleep ten to a cell -- but the jail is very clean. According to the prison's deputy warden, the country does not punish people who have made political or ideological mistakes. Officials did say the prison had inmate who were jailed for having what are described as "wrong ideas".
One such prisoner was a leading activist for democratic rights -- a woman. There are more than a hundred other women prisoners, may of whom were being punished for such crimes as adultery or pre-marital sex. Despite this, the prison is considered much preferable to the work camps, where most arrested people are sent. These camps are never shown to outsiders.