The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Japan:
Seniors seeking shelter in prison

Dec 15, 2008

Last August in Japan, a 79-year-old woman attacked two girls with a knife. The attacker was homeless and down to her last few dollars.

This random fact isn’t an exception. Every year since 1986 Japan has put out a book on crime. The latest issue shows that overall crime fell by 6.5%. On the other hand, it has increased by 4% among seniors. Forty-eight thousand six hundred seniors have been arrested. This is five times higher than 20 years ago, while the number of seniors only doubled during the same time.

The reason for this surprising fact is simple. The living conditions of seniors have worsened so much that many commit crimes in order to be arrested and have room and board in prison! One of them said, “In prison we can sleep, eat and work.” Once they’re released, they break the law again to return. The number of seniors in prison has tripled, reaching 30,000.

Ending a life of exploitation in prison is the perspective offered by capitalist society in one of the richest countries in the world!