Re-Education Through Labour in Historical Perspective
The China Quarterly, Vol. 184, No. , pp. 811-830, 2005
21 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2011
Date Written: 2005
Re-education through labour (laodong jiaoyang or laojiao for short) is an administrative punishment imposed by the police. Since its inception in 1955, it has become a convenient instrument for the government to use to deal with any crisis. Its development has largely followed the ebb and flow of the CCP's political behaviour. Created as a comparatively mild suppression of counterrevolutionary activities, laojiao served as a useful instrument of punishment for dissenting intellectuals in 1958, though it was then nearly phased out during the radical years of the Cultural Revolution. Laojiao expanded quickly as a result of the CCP's anti-crime strategy after 1983, and has grown steadily ever since. It now serves multiple functions, including crime control, drug rehabilitation, investigative detention and political control. It enjoys different degrees of legitimacy and justification. Any substantive discussion on the future of laojiao has to be offence and offender specific.
Keywords: Asian studies
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