Public Prosecutors' Offices

Public Prosecutors' Offices Public Prosecutors' Offices are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice. They consist of the Supreme Prosecutor's Office, the High Prosecutors' Offices, the District Prosecutors' Offices and their respective Branch Offices, each corresponding to the Court within its jurisdiction.

The Supreme Prosecutors' Office, located in Seoul, is headed by the Prosecutor General who directs and supervises the prosecution nationwide. The Prosecutor General serves a two-year term in office with no reappointment. The Supreme Prosecutors' Office is comprised of seven following departments, the Administration Bureau and Research Prosecutors.

The Planning and Coordination Department draws up general plans for the prosecutorial activities of each Prosecutors' Office; oversees the operation and development of scientific investigation; and manages and improves the automated office system and telecommunications system of the Prosecutors' Office.

The Central Investigation Department conducts investigations on the criminal cases of nationwide significance and supervises prosecution against cyber crimes.

The Criminal Department is in charge of prosecution for crimes related to the economy, transportation, environment and juvenile delinquency.

The Narcotics and Organized Crimes Department is to protect people from organized crimes such as gang-involved violent crimes, narcotics and smuggling offenses.

The Public Security Department specializes in prosecution for crimes deemed to affect national security, such as cases related to elections, labor and foreign affairs.

The Criminal Trial and Civil Litigation Department conducts and supervises criminal proceedings and government litigation in the Supreme Court and handles appeals against the non-prosecution decisions of the High Prosecutors' Offices. The Criminal Department, the Narcotics and Organized Crimes Department as well as the Public Security Department oversee the criminal investigations by lower prosecutors' offices regarding cases that fall within each department's main responsibilities.

The Inspection Department performs internal inspections and investigates misconduct by prosecutorial officials.

Research Prosecutors directly assist the Prosecutor General and conduct researches concerning prosecutorial matters.

Probation Offices and Juvenile Protection Facilities

The Ministry of Justice is committed to reducing crime rates by coordinating government-wide cooperation with community-based programs.

The probation and parole system came into force in 1989 as a juvenile corrections program and still remains at the core of the Ministry's commitment. The system has proven to be very effective in addressing juvenile delinquency. With the revision of the Criminal Act in 1995, the court started to sentence adult defendants to probation, community service order or attendance center order when suspending the imposition or execution of a sentence.

Probation, parole, community service and attendance center order do not involve confinement. These programs not only save national budgets but also offer offenders a chance to continue their ordinary social livers while shielding them from negative impacts of incarceration.

There exist 5 Probation & Parole Committees, 18 probation offices, 46 branch offices, and 2 Central Electronic Monitoring Center. The Parole Examination Committee is in charge of making decisions on the release on parole for juveniles housed in juvenile Training Schools. The probation office supervises probationers and parolees, executes community service orders and attendance center orders, and prepares presentence investigation reports.

Juvenile protection facilities promote sound development of juveniles by providing delinquency prevention, correctional education, rehabilitation programs, and scientifically sophisticated disposition/behavior test targeting the youth including juvenile delinquents and juveniles in crisis. As of 2009, 17 juvenile protection facilities are being operated across the country: 10 Juvenile Reformatories, 1 Juvenile Classification and Examination Center, and 10 Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Centers.

The main mission of a juvenile reformatory is to assist juvenile delinquents to develop into productive, law-abiding citizens by accommodating and protecting them under the protective detention ordered by the court in accordance with Article 32 of the Juvenile Act, and providing school education and "occupational ability development training" pursuant to the Elementary & Secondary Education Act and the Act on the Development of Occupational Abilities of Workers respectively. The juvenile reformatory also provides medical treatment, rehabilitation, psychological treatment, and an all-round education such as outreach activities for the youth with substance abuse, developmental disorder and physical disease who need intensive care and specialized education. A juvenile reformatory introduced in Korea under the name of Kyung Sung Juvenile Reformatory back in 1942, has administered proactive and forward-looking education schemes that lives up to the demands and needs of users by developing all-round education program, lifting curfew, allowing home schooling on weekends, and providing hands-on experience on various recreations that include outreach activities, cross-country pilgrimage and cultural field trips.

The Juvenile Classification and Examination Center accommodates juveniles sent by the courts prior to a hearing, identifies causes of delinquency, provides the courts prior to a hearing, identifies causes of delinquency, provides the courts with documents necessary for examination and hearing, sets treatment guidelines for juvenile reformatory and probation offices, advises the juveniles' parents or guardians on aftercare of the released juveniles, and conducts intensive all-round education programs.

The Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Centers targeting juveniles in crisis such as students who do not adjust to school life, or those under suspension of indictment, serve to prevent juvenile delinquency in communities by providing alternative education, law education and identifying causes of delinquency in a scientifically sophisticated manner upon the requests by courts and public prosecutors.

Correctional Organizations

Regional Corrections Headquarters Correctional Organizations are an intermediate supervisor which administers front-line correctional facilities. The Corrections Bureau, the predecessor of the Korea Correctional Service, once encountered difficulties in directly overseeing correctional facilities spread throughout the country since the Bureau was located in Seoul. To address this problem, four Regional Correctional Organizations(RCHs) were established in Seoul, Daegu, Daejeon and Gawangju on November 1, 1991. They are now performing intermediate supervision on the correctional facilities located within their respective jurisdictions.

Each RCH has 5 divisions: General Affairs Division, Security Management Division, Vocational Training Division, Health Care & Classification Division and Social Rehabilitation Division.

Correctional Facilities

Correctional Facilities Under the Presidential Decree No.289, 20 Correctional Institutions and one branch institution were established in March 1950. Since then, the need for improving correctional facilities continued to grow due to increasing crime rates, forcing the government to expand the correctional administration system. As of January 1, 2010, a total of 51 correctional facilities are up and running: 37 Correctional Institutions, 11 Detention Centers, and 3 Correctional Branches. To enhance professional and efficient management, each facility has seven or eight divisions under the supervision of the warden. Correctional Institutions are designed to house inmates after their sentencing. Various educational and vocational training and work programs are provided for inmates to help them successfully reintegrate into society. There are also specialized institutions such as the Open Correctional Institution, the Women Correctional Institution, the Juvenile Correctional Institution and the Vocational Training Correctional Institution.
For more effective operation, each institution is based on the organizational structure of its own. For example, an ordinary Correctional Institution has seven divisions as follows:
The General Affairs Division deals with overall matters including personnel management and budget. The Security Division supervises the maintenance of discipline and custody of inmates and is involved in the admission, accommodation, daily care, mustering, escort and discharge of inmates. It also offers counseling to inmates. The Health Care & Classification Division handles classification and parole preparations, psychological examinations and aptitude tests. It also offers medical treatment, hygiene and pharmacy services. The Vocational Training Division plans and carries out policies for the prison industry, vocational training and remuneration. The Social Rehabilitation Division provides academic training, special education, welfare and recreation programs for inmates. It also deals with correspondence and religious activities.

Detention Centers Detention Centers accommodate a mix of remand and sentenced inmates but mostly remand inmates. The Seoul Detention Center was the first to house inmates on trial in July, 1967. 11 Detention Centers in Korea are running across the nation. In 1996, the nine-story Suwon Detention Center was built in the urban area, closer in distance to the Prosecutors' Office. Multi-story Detention Centers have been built in Incheon, Ulsan and Daegu. Though the organizational structure of the Detention Center is very similar to that of the Correctional Institution, it does not have the Industries & Planning Division, and includes the following additional divisions:
The Inmates Record Division manages identification and other data of inmates. The Civil Affairs Division deals with matters related to visitation, and deposit and release of money and valuables upon the confirmation and verification of inmates

Immigration Offices and Detention Center

Immigration Offices and Detention Centers There are 18 immigration offices, 21 branch offices including those at the international airports. Those offices grant extension or renewal of stay for foreign nationals; change of their status of stay; permission to engage in activities beyond their current visa status; and permissions for re-entry. They also investigate foreigners who have violated the immigration laws and have the authority to deport unlawful foreigners.

Immigration detention centers are the facility for foreigners who have violated the immigration laws and are subject to deportation proceedings. The Hwaseong Immigration Detention Center and the Cheongju Immigration Detention Center have been doing their best to protect rights of foreign nationals and to keep the quality of administration in line with the global standards.

There are 18 Councils for the Protection and Human Rights & Interests of Foreign Nationals. Their mission is to protect the rights of foreigners and to help them resolve any issues when they suffer from overdue wages and industrial accidents.

Besides, the Korea immigration Service has provided facilitated immigration services and eased requirements for permanent residency for foreign investors and global intellectuals, which helps enhance national competitiveness.

In February 2006, the Nationality and Refugee Division was established to ensure effective adjudication of refugee recognition. The Division was later on separated into two: Nationality Division and Refugee Division.

Korea's immigration laws are in the process of amendment to meet the international standards. Refugee facilities will be set up to provide resettlement programs in conjunction with legal aid, employment and medical services.

Institute of Justice

Institute of Justice The Institute of Justice is responsible for training and educating officers of the Ministry of Justice. It also conducts researches and studies to improve the quality of legal administration. The institute has various training programs designed to strengthen the professional competence of prosecutors, prosecutorial officers, administrative officers of the Ministry, and officers at correctional institutions and immigration officers. Their study and research activities cover criminal policies as well as judicial administration.

For more information, please visit the Institute's website: