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World Factbook of Criminal Justice Systems: Taiwan, Republic of China

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 1993
This overview of Taiwan's criminal justice system encompasses political and legal systems, the nature and extent of crime, law enforcement, the prosecutorial and judicial process, the judicial system, penalties and sentencing, and the prison system.

Taiwan has a democratic form of government with executive, legislative, judicial, examination, and inspection branches. The legal system is adversarial, with a prosecutor representing the plaintiff and a defense attorney representing the defendant. Crimes are primarily defined by criminal law and are divided into two major categories, property crimes and violent crimes. Crime statistics for 1991 indicate 949 homicide offenders, 10,137 theft offenders, and 11,685 drug offenders were convicted. The police system is centralized, and police functions are to maintain public order, protect social security, prevent dangers, and promote public welfare. Police officers are authorized to use force, stop and apprehend suspects, and conduct searches and seizures. The prosecutorial and judicial process is concerned with rights of the accused and procedures for bringing suspects to trial. The judicial system has three levels: district courts, higher courts, and the Supreme Court. The judge makes the final decision on sentencing, and possible penalties include fines, probation, prison, life sentence, and the death penalty. In 1990, Taiwan's 19 correctional facilities had a total capacity of 21,923 beds. The inmate population totaled 34,770 in July 1992, 32,614 male prisoners and 2,156 female prisoners.

Date Published: June 1, 1993