CHINA'S top law-making body, the National People's Congress (NPC), will soon start examining the country's first Prison Law which is expected to include specific provisions on the penalty and reduction of jail terms for prisoners. The Prison Law was reported by Xinhua (the New China News Agency) as necessary in 'carrying out penalties, reforming criminals and preventing and reducing crimes'. The Xinhua report did not give details of the content of the draft which was passed by a session of the State Council on Tuesday. It will be submitted to the NPC for examination. Along with the Prison Law, the legislative body would also examine the Publication Law which was also passed by the State Council on Tuesday, according to Xinhua. Sources said the Prison Law was likely to include provisions on the management of prisoners such as different procedures and treatment for prisoners held in custody and prisoners who have been sentenced to jail. Other sections would cover the control over prisoners sentenced for 'counter-revolutionary crime' as well as prisoners who were serving more than 10-year jail terms. It would also provide guidelines over the management of prisoners who were kept in solitary confinement. Other sensitive sections would be the management of businesses run by prisons and the new law would provide the legal status for the so-called 'one-prison-two-systems' operation that has been suggested by Chinese judicial officials. Under the suggested operation, prisons would be allowed to run separate businesses to subsidise their operation. Although the Prison Law could provide more clear-cut guidelines over the running of prisons in China, informed sources said it was doubtful that Chinese authorities would abolish the notorious labour reform camps which run alongside the normal prisons even after the passage of the new legislation. Thousands of people were imprisoned in Chinese labour reform camps for suspected crimes ranging from theft to being 'counter-revolutionary'. Under Chinese law, police are allowed to sentence any person to labour reform for a maximum of three years without having to go through any court of law. The 'prisoner' often has no chance to appeal their sentence. On the draft Publication Law, Xinhua said it was divided into seven chapters and 56 articles. These chapters covered issues such as citizens' freedom to publish, the establishment and management of publishing houses, and the printing and copying of publications, Xinhua said. The drafting of the Publication Law started several years ago but was briefly suspended after the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.