四个办法 - "the four measures" refers to a set of four "measures" (办法) on the supervision of detention facilites issued by the Supreme People´s Procuratorate in February this year.

These are:

  1. "Measure on the supervision of prisons" 人民检察院监狱检察办法
  2. "Measure on the supervision of kanshousuo" 人民检察院看守所检察办法
  3. "Measure on the supervision of re-education through labour camps"人民检察院劳教检察办法
  4. "Measure on the control of supervised freedom"人民检察院监外执行检察办法

One of the most important changes introduced by this set of four measure is that supervised freedom (监外执行) is considered a matter worth of separate legislation. This point was underscored during a training seminar (培训班) on the "Four Methods" that took place this week in Jingangshan.

Before, norms of supervised freedom were scattered through legislation on the kanshousuo, re-education through labour camps and re-form through labour camps. The most important pieces of legislation on supervised freedom were three experimental "detailed regulations" (细则) on each of these detention facilities.

It is still too early to judge the significance of this change. However, it seems to be in line with the trend toward the expansion, diversification and strengthening of the prison system.

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