New Ghosts, Old Ghosts: Prisons and Labor Reform Camps in China

By James D. Seymour; Richard Anderson et al. | Go to book overview

Prologue

Though tourists rarely do so, it is perfectly possible to visit an area on the outskirts of Qinghai's Xining that abounds in prisons and prison enterprises. A convenient (if somewhat ironic) starting point might be the luxurious Qinghai Guest House (Qinghai Binguan). From there, cross the South River ( Nan Chuan) and walk east on South Mountain (Nanshan) Road. You will soon enter Nantan (South Beach) District (Nantan Jiedao). After about 300 meters watch for a road turning to the right. At that point, on the left is the compound of the Fourth Team (Dui), Second Qinghai Construction Company, which is no longer part of the laogai but was until 1975. Behind the compound of the Fourth Team is the Xining Detention Center (Xining Kan Shou Suo), the city jail. Walk on, and inside the next compound on the left, notice the Qinghai Hide and Garment Factory (Qinghai Pimao Beifu Chang); this outfit still is a laogai company. Behind the main gate of the factory and inside the same compound is the Provincial Juvenile Delinquents Prison (Qinghai Sheng Qingshaonian Guanlisuo). Just after this gate on the same side of the street is the factory shop, where you can view and even buy what is made at this prison. Ahead on the right is the Xining Printing Works; like the construction company, it is no longer part of the laogai. Opposite that, on the left but not visible from the street, is the Qinghai Detention Center (Qinghai Kanshousuo), which is for criminals detained by provincial-level units.

On the same side one soon sees the Nantan Movie Theater. Built in 1961, this is the former Laogai Employees Club and the meeting hall for political assemblages of Laogai Bureau units. To Maoists it all seemed somewhat self-serving. Fearing a revival of the Laogai Bureau's old élitism and arrogance, in 1972 the army converted the club into a movie house, and other units were now allowed to use it. Opposite the theater on the right side are the housing complex and the primary

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New Ghosts, Old Ghosts: Prisons and Labor Reform Camps in China
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Tables vii
  • Charts vii
  • Maps vii
  • Terminology and Prison Structure (see Chart, Page 66) viii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Prologue 1
  • Chapter 1 Introduction 4
  • Chapter 2 Gansu 29
  • Chapter 3 Xinjiang: One Region, Two Systems 44
  • Conclusion 173
  • Chapter 5 Prisons and Human Rights 175
  • Chapter 6 the Aftermath: What Happens Upon Release? 189
  • Chapter 7 Conclusion 202
  • Appendix 1 Authors' Commentaries 226
  • Appendix 2 Others' Commentaries 231
  • Appendix 3 Laogai Regulations 239
  • Endnotes 264
  • Bibliography 299
  • Index 307
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