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Rehabilitation not working well with released prisoners

Date Posted: 2010-01-07

Nearly half of all prisoners being released from the Okinawa prison are not staying out of cells, but are returning to lives of crime that incarcerate them again.

Officials say that released prisoners are confronted with having no homes or families to return to, and a lack jobs to occupy them. Those circumstances are leading recently released prisoners to return to stealing, lying and fighting, instead of trying to get jobs and start new lives.

The need for having money to integrate into Okinawa society is a problem, officials say, and without it they never can get a fresh start. Officials say that the normal requirement for getting out of prison on parole is to have a guarantor, someone to go sign for the prisoner. Thatís not happening often for senior citizen prisoners whose terms are nearly up, and thatís costing the prison system money, too.

Okinawa prisons are costing taxpayers more than •600,000 per day, a figure that equates to spending •1,310 on each prisoner. Officials say that figure is prohibitively high, as money is very tight. They key, they say, is finding ways to reduce prison populations through civilian social and employment programs.

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