Court Rules Jailing Inmate in Small Cell is Illegal | Be Korea-savvy

Court Rules Jailing Inmate in Small Cell is Illegal

A Detention Center in Busan. (Yonhap)

A Detention Center in Busan. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, Nov. 4 (Korea Bizwire)A court has ruled that the government should offer compensation for placing an inmate in a jail cell too small to conduct everyday life.

In a recent lawsuit filed by a local inmate against the government, Seoul Central District Court ruled that the government should pay 4 million won (US$3,447) to the victim.

The inmate, incarcerated between 2007 and 2018 for a series of robberies and violent crimes, sued the government for inhumane treatment during his time in prison.

The court rejected most of the complaints except for one.

“The inmate has suffered psychological pain for being incarcerated in an area smaller than 2 square meters for a considerable amount of time, which falls short of the minimum standard needed to conduct everyday life,” said the court.

“This act exceeds the nation’s penal power and infringes upon human dignity and value as ensured by the Constitution.”

The ruling was based on a comprehensive study of the average height of South Korean adults and other relevant restrictions.

The court set the compensation rate at 4 million won after deliberating on the reason and length of time spent being incarcerated in a tiny cell, as well as government finances.

H. M. Kang (

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