This chapter interrogates how the ideas pertaining to imprisonment have been analysed and conceptualised by the Chinese scholarship on law and justice to show how different political discourses interact and shape its contours. It also examines the main themes that have emerged in post-Mao approaches on imprisonment. In China today, political discourse continues to be encapsulated in politico-legal slogans that profess to embody certain political agendas. The most intuitive explanation for this continued interest is that imprisonment represents one of the key forms of criminal punishments in the People's Republic of China (PRC). In the early years of the PRC, custodial punishment was a way of bringing to heel socialism's recalcitrants and neutralising their political or social dangerousness. Academic discussions on reform and imprisonment continued to be imbued with ideas that had clear Marxist and Leninist connotations and that derived from the traditional Russian school on reform through labour.