TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Older former prison inmates are more likely than younger ones to be back in jail within two years of being freed, a government white paper said Friday.
The overall rate of former inmates returning to jail within two years came to 18.0 percent in 2015, down 0.6 percentage points from the preceding year, according to the White Paper on Crime 2017, submitted by Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa at a cabinet meeting.
By age group, the jail return rate was 11.1 percent for former inmates aged below 30, 18.1 percent for those between 30 and 64, and 23.2 percent for those aged 65 or over.
“The rate for the elderly has been consistently high, compared with other age groups, reducing the impacts of efforts to lower the overall rate,” a Justice Ministry official said.
The government aims to cut the overall rate to 16 percent or lower by 2021.
Community support for former inmates is another major topic in the 2017 white paper.
About 60 percent of the public is willing to help former criminals with their rehabilitation, but only 20 percent are ready to meet them in person and give advice and other support, according to a Cabinet Office survey.
As of April 1 this year, former inmates and juvenile delinquents were employed by 774 business operators in the country, or 4.2 percent of the state-registered employers.
The number of reported crimes in 2016 in Japan fell 9.4 percent from the previous year to 996,120, down for the 14th consecutive year.