Not yet primed for probation

The July 9 editorial “Reducing rate of recidivism” reminds me of American detective movies. Some scenes are very strange for Japanese people. In these films we see narcotic drug users who were made to work in zoos or parks to look after small animals as a means of getting straight, and we learn well the role of probation officers in the United States.

It seems that American society has been ready for a while to support efforts to prevent narcotic drug users from returning to prison. In Japan we seldom see these “voluntary” probation officers. When minors commit a minor crime, they are required to live under adult supervision, but when an adult commits a crime, the next steps are not so familiar to us.

It is evident that the number of voluntary probation officers is short of requirements. We don’t have enough facilities and opportunities to help drug-addicted people. It is deplorable that the number of drug related crimes is on the rise.

We have to set up a new system for treating them, and Japanese society has to be ready to accept these people in their daily routine to give them another chance.

shuichi john watanabe
tokyo

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.