A Reintegration Program for Elderly Prisoners Reduces Reoffending

Harsh sentences have resulted in many prisoners being elderly at the time of their release. However, the longer individuals have been incarcerated and the older they are, the more difficult it may be for them to re-enter free society. We developed a reintegration program to promote their successful adjustment to society and to prevent their reoffending, and evaluated its effectiveness. Participants were 25 older prisoners in Japan; all were homeless and more than 65 years old. Ten participants voluntarily participated in the reintegration programs, while the other 15 participants rejected participation in the programs. The programs provided a temporary residence, money, and job support in a community where they desired to live. Participants involved with the reintegration programs had not reoffended at 252 days, while 37.5% of those not involved in the programs reoffended. The two groups did not significantly differ in age, health status, educational level, and total length of sentence. Reintegration of older prisoners into society is more effective when done in the context of a prevention program and welfare support.

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View Journal of Forensic Science and Criminology (JFSC)

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