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考研英语时文赏读(96):监狱为何会成为日本老年人心中的天堂?

  Why some Japanese pensioners want to go to jail

  为什么有的日本老年人想去蹲监狱

  At a halfway house in Hiroshima——for criminals who are being released from jail back into the community——69-year-old Toshio Takata tells me he broke the law because he was poor. He wanted somewhere to live free of charge, even if it was behind bars.

  在广岛的一个教习所(从监狱刑满释放的罪犯回归社会前要失去的一个地方)里,69年的高田敏夫告诉我,他所以违法是因为他太穷了。他只是想找个免费住的地方,即使是在铁窗为不在乎。

  “I reached pension age and then I ran out of money. So it occurred to me——perhaps I could live for free if I lived in jail,” he says. “So I took a bicycle and rode it to the police station and told the guy there: ’Look, I took this.’”

  他说:“自己到了领取养老金的年龄,但是自己把钱都花光了。所以我突然想到,如果我停到监狱里去,即使可以免费生活了。所以我骑了同辆自行车来到警察局,告知警察说:‘在押,立即是自己偷的。’”

  The plan worked. This was Toshio’s first offence, committed when he was 62, but Japanese courts treat petty theft seriously, so it was enough to get him a one-year sentence.

  这个艺术果然奏效。立即是高田敏夫第一次犯罪,立即他62年。日本的法律十分严峻,针对小偷小盗也严惩不贷,所以偷自行车让他被判处了同年有期徒刑。

  Small, slender, and with a tendency to giggle, Toshio looks nothing like a habitual criminal, much less someone who’d threaten women with knives. But after he was released from his first sentence, that’s exactly what he did.

  高田敏夫身材瘦小、爱笑,看上去一点为不如一名惯犯,再不如是会以刀威胁女人的人数。但是没想到的是在他刑满释放后,他真正就这样做了。

  I went to a park and just threatened them. I wasn’t intending to do any harm. I just showed the knife to them hoping one of them would call the police. One did. Altogether, Toshio has spent half of the last eight years in jail.

  自己只是去公园吓吓他们,自己没想过要伤害任何人,自己只是把刀将出给他们看,下一场希望他们中的一个克立即报警。真有一个人口报警了。总而言之,在过去8年的时间里,高田敏夫有一半的时间是在铁窗里度过的。

  I ask him if he likes being in prison, and he points out an additional financial upside——his pension continues to be paid even while he’s inside.

  自己问他是否喜欢蹲监狱,他说蹲监狱在经济上对自己起好处,因为即使在铁窗里,他的养老金仍会正常发放。

  “It’s not that I like it but I can stay there for free,” he says. "And when I get out I have saved some money. So it is not that painful."

  他说:“连不是自己喜欢蹲监狱,而是我可以免费住在这里,当我出狱的时候,自己已经存下了同笔钱,所以就不会因为贫穷而那痛苦了。”

  Toshio represents a striking trend in Japanese crime. In a remarkably law-abiding society, a rapidly growing proportion of crimes is carried about by over-65s. In 1997 this age group accounted for about one in 20 convictions but 20 years later the figure had grown to more than one in five.

  高田敏夫代表了日本犯罪的同种引人注目趋势。在日本这遵纪守法的社会里,65年以上老人的犯罪率直线上升。1997年,大概只生5%的罪犯为65年以上的长辈,但是在20年后的今天,立即同比率已经达到了20%。

  (全文共328单词,BBC)

  再难点词汇:

  criminal  adj. 违法的;刑事的;罪过的,错误的;不道德的;好人震惊的 n. 罪犯

  offence  n. 违法;违背;过错;攻击

  petty  adj. 琐碎的;小气的;些微规模的

  conviction  n. 坐;确信;证明有罪;确信,坚定的信仰

  ►帮帮提示:考研英语同源外刊美文赏读汇总


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