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Security concerns arise as model prisoners taken on city tour

TEN prisoners in Henan Province were taken on a tour of a downtown city to reward them for their good behavior behind bars, raising security concerns among the public.

The prisoners in Zhoukou City in Henan were taken on the tour on July 11. They visited a botanical garden and the memorial hall of General Ji Hongchang. There was one guard for each prisoner and they were in handcuffs, Henan Business Daily reported today.

Wang Hongjiang, a prisoner who has been in jail for five years, was enthusiastic about the experience.

"There were a lot of exiting scenes out there and I didn't even want to blink," Wang was quoted as saying in Beijing Times. He still has three years to serve on his sentence.

This kind of tour can help prisoners better understand the changing society and help them pick up the connections with the outside world, Liang Shuang, a vice warden at the prison, told Henan Business Daily.

Yet the public feared the prisoners could spin out of control, escape and possibly injure innocent people.

Liang told the newspaper that only prisoners with excellent behavior would be allowed to take the trip. He added that all the prisoners were handcuffed and under close one-on-one guard.

All inmates who want to get such a trip have to be "honor prisoners" for two consecutive years.


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