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Japanese prisons face swelling elderly population

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27 Comments
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These old guys are on to something. Rob a bank and you either get rich or get a motel room for the rest of your life.....with your mates. Sounds like a great intiative though as something has to be done as the problem is only going to get worse in the forseeable future. I can just imagine a television serial based around this. It would be hilarious.

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It's pretty ridiculous to expect an ex-con in his 70's to be able to find a job and support himself financially.

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sarahsuz, you could equally argue that it is pretty riduculous that society has to support financially an ex-con

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Article saids: "Also, elderly inmates without family or community ties have virtually no chance of parole, which is granted only for those with a reliable guardian".

What is a difference? Why no chance for parole? If they served their required years of punishment in prison, they should be paroled just like everybody else. Many of these prisoners paid into their social security system or were unemployed in a welfare system, they should have chance to be paroled and entitled to small pension from the country to live simply on their own life. This would be much cheaper than if they stayed in the jail feeding and housing them 365 days a year.

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This will be my fallback plan should my career go down the drain.

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“Elderly shoplifting cases have become a major social problem..We must seek how to rebuild our social ties.”

Okay..really?

“Some of the seniors here were convicted of shoplifting after having trouble making ends meet..In a way, they are victims of the bad economy, but that shouldn’t be an excuse.”

Yeah, they should just die.

No wonder it just gets worse so quickly, with logic like this.

The Bible had it figured out. Normally you punish someone sevenfold for stealing, but if they only stole food they just have to repay the cost. No mention of prison, because it doesn't work and costs you way more than what gets stolen. It's a vicious cycle and the cure is worse than the disease.

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japanese are becoming more and more aggressive every year. I've seen guys over 60s increasingly commiting crimes when they should be in a retirement home or taking care of their grandchildren like NORMAL elderly do in other countries. But, like R.Kennedy said: "Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves"; and such a "tolerant" society is just paying the price for overrating the elederly, who think they can get away with everything they do (jaywalking in the middle of avenues, rididng bikes in the middle of the streets, parking wherever they feel like, driving awfully and selfishly, spitting anywhere, peeing in the rivers, cutting the lines, bumping you, etc etc let alone how arrogant and aggressive they can be!). I've also heard they commit crimes so they can be taken to jail where they can be "well taken care of at no charge". Go figure!

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This is going to be the option for many more J-seniors as time goes on, society just basically hasnt bothered setting up enough affordable options for people, the govt just wasted the peoples taxes, pensions, welfare payments over the years & here we are, its clear old folks are screwed, Jpn had better implement the old tradition of taking old folks on a hike up the mountain & then abandoning them.

The sad truth is J-society has abandoned its seniors, the ones in jail have a least figured a way to get back a little of what they put in!

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It's stupid to lump people in their 60s in with people in their 80s and say they're all 'elderly'. Today 60 is the new 40 in terms of health, plus there's a lifetime of experience to draw on, but just try getting a new job at 60. If they're even willing to consider you, they'll expect you to work for peanuts because 'you've got a pension to fall back on'. Then folk complain that 'the oldies are ruining the economy with their pensions'. Make your mind up society, do we want people to earn their way or do we want them to just shurrup and draw a pension?

I don't condone people of any age breaking the law, but I can't say I'm totally unsympathetic when people suddenly find their 60th birthday turns them invisible.

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More than half the inmates have some form of dementia.

... So these guys aren't actually criminals, they have senile dementia and probably forgot that they didn't pay for something.

This is a ridiculous miscarriage of justice. There has to be criminal intent for something to be a crime, otherwise it's just an accident.

Japanese judges need a swift smack upside the head for imprisoning and stigmatising old people who are mentally ill. The way that Japan works even if these people did have family support before they went to prison they won't have it afterwards as they'll be "criminals" and their will be pressure on their families to disassociate themselves from them.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

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It is heartbreaking that so many people would rather be in prison under conditions that are uncomfortable at the very best, than to be free. To some of these people, it is worth getting a criminal record just to escape from society. I also saw a show on TV the other day about a rise in funerals that no-one attends, almost all of them for elderly people who died alone. What happened to community spirit? Why are people abandoning their elders? I long ago resolved to work hard and attain success and wealth so as to keep my parents comfortable, free and close by when they grow old. I simply can't understand this 'head-in-the-sand' mentality.

The worst is the fact that some inmates have dementia. It seems fairer to spend the money on building more elderly care facilities (and the benefit of job creation will follow).

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Jail for shop lifting but we hear about all these other more serious crimes and they get suspended sentences. Something wrong here for sure.

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Very sad news! I hope they can find a good solution to these old prisoners.

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3 1/2-year sentence for attempted robbery

Whaaaaa?????? Considering suspended sentences are handed out for drunken vehicular manslaughter and negligecnce causing death in Japan!

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PSmash

Spot on man! The sad thing is though these days is extremely short on common sense & compassion & this blurb is a perfect example of BOTH!

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I bet there are a lot of old timer prisonors serving life sentances too.

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everyone should save for their own pension. GOV in any country will support no one in the years to come.

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goddog dentshop

Yr not quite getting, these seniors WANT to go or STAY in jail because its a better life then they have if they are "free" that is why some are stealing, they want to get caught.

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The Emperor's Hilton for the aged. - There has been notable increase in geriatric crime in recent years. I don't know if I would be so bold as to suggest it is because they want to go to jail, but it also reflects a growing incidence of senility among the senior cits, which is probably a more important issue. Not that it will ever be admitted or addressed, of course.

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This is the J-version of elder-care. The social support in Japan is third world. So silly - it's so easy to see that elder care in the community is much cheaper than elder care in prison. So short sighted.

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Lots of older people don"t seem to be able to cope with reduced income/pension, so a lot of theft crime is up by them(mostly at supers for food items, etc).

When economy takes a dive many people resort to theft, interestingly enough it is the luxury item stores that are hit first.

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Life in a nursing home, or life in a prison? Not much of an option for the elderly who need constant care.

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MY mother in law has said she would consider breaking the law just to be put away if there was nobody to care for her. She aint rich and thee amount of care she needs teh J govt is not prepared to give, she would die if dependent on the state.

Where are nigelboy and OssanAmerica's pro Japan utopia posts on these type of matters? Strange eh!!

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I remember an old lady who slashed a girl in Shibuya few years back. She has been trying to get to prison by shoplifting and eating without paying but the police keeps on releasing her and its close to winter so she went out, slashed some poor young lady and waited for the police to come and lock her for a longer period of time. I am sure she will do it again once she is out.

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flyingfish

sarahsuz, you could equally argue that it is pretty riduculous that society has to support financially an ex-con

What do you suggest then, euthanasia?

Moderator: Back on topic please.

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Problem is that the elderly population is basically left idle by design - Japan, like most countries either needs to consider lifting the retirement age to the average life expectancy age of 79, or abandon it altogether, and focus on developing ways of keeping able elderly engaged in the economy and self sufficient.

By life expectancy figures alone, on average people spend 15 years of forced retirement and welfare dependent unemployment at the end of their lives in Japan. Declining population, mounting public debt, and elderly crime and so on, it wouldn't be popular but it is the only solution.

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Would you call this people "pen"sioners?

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