Confucius Reigns in China Prison Rehabilitation

November 30, 2006

Source: Reuters India

BEIJING (Reuters) - A jail in northern China has turned to the ancient teachings of Confucius to put its inmates on a more righteous path, a Chinese newspaper reported on Thursday.

Changchun Beijiao prison in the northeastern province of Jilin had organised a "Confucian Classroom" and installed closed circuit televisions beaming the ancient sage's thoughts into cells, the Beijing News said.

"The studies of Chinese traditional culture can help inmates cultivate virtues and form good behaviours," the Beijing News quoted prison warden Yang Mingchang, as saying.

Once denounced as feudalistic by fervent Communist Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution in Mao-era China, Confucius's 2,500-year-old ideas of filial piety and respect for education have made a comeback in China since the 1990s -- as both a celebration of traditional Chinese culture, and a message of obedience to those in power.