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2014年8月24日 (日)

検察の再犯対策 高齢・障害者に福祉の支援も

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Help for elderly, disabled recidivists crucial for rehabilitation into society
検察の再犯対策 高齢・障害者に福祉の支援も

Public prosecutors are working to rehabilitate elderly people and people with intellectual disabilities who repeat relatively minor crimes, such as shoplifting and skipping out on restaurant bills, to help them rejoin society.
 万引きや無銭飲食など比較的軽微な犯罪を繰り返す高齢者や知的障害者の社会復帰支援に、検察が力を入れている。

In cooperation with welfare experts, prosecutors are trying to secure places at welfare facilities for such people, as well as seeking to get their indictments suspended or receive suspended sentences in court.
 福祉の専門家と協力して、福祉施設などの受け入れ先を確保した上で、起訴猶予にしたり、執行猶予付きの判決を求めたりする取り組みだ。

Preventing repeat offenses is important to protect the public’s safety. It is understandable that prosecutors are exploring ways to achieve this in keeping with suspects and defendants’ circumstances, instead of just sending them to prison, thereby encouraging them to regain their footing in society.
 国民生活の安全を守るために、再犯を防ぐことは重要である。服役させるだけでなく、容疑者や被告の状況に応じた再犯防止策を模索し、社会内での立ち直りを促そうという狙いは理解できる。

Since January last year, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office has recruited social welfare workers as part-time employees to help prosecutors with specific assistance measures.
 東京地検では昨年1月から、社会福祉士を非常勤職員として採用し、担当検事に具体的な支援方法を助言してもらっている。

For example, an elderly man arrested on suspicion of shoplifting was placed in a nursing home after a suspended indictment, as he was suspected of suffering from dementia. More than 350 people have received welfare assistance and medical treatment in the past 1½ years without serving prison terms.
 例えば、万引きで逮捕された高齢の男性は、認知症が疑われたため、起訴猶予にして介護施設に入所させた。この1年半で、350人以上が、刑務所に収容されず、福祉や医療の支援を受けた。

In Nagasaki, Otsu and elsewhere, panels comprising psychiatrists and other experts investigate the degree of disability of each defendant and compile reports that district public prosecutors can refer to when they seek penalties. Sendai and 19 other district public prosecutors offices cooperate with local probation offices and help probation officers find places for suspects to live after they are released.
 長崎や大津などでは、精神科医らでつくる委員会が被告の障害の程度を調べ、地検がその報告書も参考に求刑などを決める。仙台など20地検は地元の保護観察所と連携し、保護観察官が容疑者の釈放後の住居探しにあたっている。

Such endeavors are an attempt to take advantage of welfare networks and expertise.
 福祉のネットワークや専門的知見を生かす試みと言えよう。

No end to repeat offenses

The driving force behind these efforts is the seemingly endless number of repeat offenses committed by the elderly and mentally disabled.
 背景には、高齢者や障害者の再犯が後を絶たない現状がある。

According to a Justice Ministry white paper on crime, the number of elderly persons serving prison terms has been continually increasing, with the figure for 2012 more than five times that seen 20 years before. More than 70 percent of the prisoners were repeat offenders.
 法務省の犯罪白書によると、刑務所に入所する高齢者はほぼ一貫して増えており、2012年は20年前の5倍を超えた。その7割以上が再犯者だった。

A survey of inmates suspected to have mental disabilities shows they served 3.8 prison terms, on average, and some of them had been imprisoned more than five times.
 知的障害の見られる受刑者を抽出調査したところ、平均の入所回数は3・8回で、5回以上入所しているケースも目立った。

It is hard to say that serving time in prison has led to rehabilitation in such cases. If they have no place to live and work and no prospects for their lives after completing their jail terms, released prisoners will repeat crimes and end up being jailed again.
 こうした人たちは、刑務所での服役が更生に結びついているとは言い難い。刑期を終えても、居場所がなく、生活の見通しも立たないと、再び犯罪に手を染め、刑務所に逆戻りしてしまう。

Severe punishments must be imposed for heinous crimes, but depending on the case, it could be an effective public safety measure to treat elderly offenders or those with intellectual disabilities from a welfare standpoint.
 凶悪事件の犯罪者には、厳しい刑罰を科さなければならない。ただ、事案によっては、福祉的な観点を取り入れた処遇を用意することも、治安対策上、有効な手法の一つだろう。

Welfare assistance for repeat offenders would have the additional benefit of preventing the overcrowding of prisons and reducing the costs of operating them.
 刑務所の過剰収容を抑え、コストを削減できる側面もある。

However, much remains to be done to sufficiently implement welfare assistance. The Justice Ministry and prosecutors offices must cooperate with the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry and local governments to increase the number of welfare facilities that can accept repeat offenders.
 課題は、受け皿が十分に整っていない点だ。法務・検察は厚生労働省や自治体と連携し、協力施設を増やす努力が欠かせない。

The prosecutors must also examine the effects of welfare assistance to verify that recipients can be rehabilitated and that such steps deter repeat offenses.
 福祉の支援を受けた人がきちんと更生し、再犯の抑止につながったのか。検察には、効果の検証も求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 23, 2014)

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