Senior Crime

Japan is such an interesting place.

Due to its long life expectancy (27%+ of its population is over 65), many seniors have resorted to a very unusual tactic to get state-sponsored care: going to prison.

Neither the government nor the private sector has established an effective rehabilitation program for seniors, and the costs to keep them in prison are rising fast. Expenses associated with elder care helped push annual medical costs at correctional facilities past 6 billion yen (more than $50 million) in 2015, an 80 percent increase from a decade before.

At some facilities, being a correctional officer has come to resemble being a nursing-home attendant. Satomi Kezuka, a veteran officer at Tochigi Women’s Prison, about 60 miles north of Tokyo, says her duties now include dealing with incontinence.

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