Why elderly people in Japan deliberately commit petty crimes and want to go to jailBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/why-elderly-people-in-japan-deliberately-commit-petty-crimes-and-want-to-go-to-jail
In Japan, one of the oldest populations in the world — 27 percent of residents of age above 65. And now the country is faced with new, unprecedented problem.
According to the Bloomberg report, in Japanese prisons, one in five women prisoners — elderly. And nine in ten are in prison for such petty crimes, like stealing in the supermarket.
The reason for this percentage of elderly people among the prisoners, not ordinary crime wave, but rather a problem of social sense. In the period from 1980 to 2015 the number of elderly living alone and without help, has increased six-fold and nearly six million people. The government in Tokyo held in 2017, the study, which showed that more than 50 per cent of older people caught for theft in stores, lived alone, and 40 percent had no family and relatives who could help them.
In Japan it was always made to take care of older relatives, but today the lack of resources destroyed this tradition.
In the result, the elderly population is feeling increasingly unwanted and isolated, especially the women. This leads to a sudden beginning of a life of crime, the elderly hope that prison will give them shelter and care in old age.
80-year-old inmate of the prison told:
The first time I went to prison when I was 70 years old. Even though I had money in my wallet, I stole the store. I thought about my life. I didn't want to return home, and more was nowhere to go. And ask for help in prison was the only way.
Life in prison is much easier. I can be myself and breathe freely, even if it is temporary. My son thinks I'm sick and I need to hide in a psychiatric clinic. But head I have everything in order. I think the longing has driven me to steal."