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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?

全国等级考试资料网 2019-07-11 17:17:36 54

  Why some Japanese pensioners want to go to jail

  为什么一些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去的一个地方)里,69岁的高田敏夫告诉我,他之所以违法是因为他太穷了。他只是想找个免费住的地方,即便是在监狱也无所谓。

  “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:“我到了领取养老金的年纪,但我把钱都花光了。所以我突然想到,如果我住到监狱里去,就可以免费生活了。所以我骑了一辆自行车来到警察局,告诉警察说:‘看,这是我偷的。’”

  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.

  这个办法果然奏效。这是高田敏夫第一次犯罪,当时他62岁。日本的法律很严厉,对小偷小盗也严惩不贷,因此偷自行车让他被判处了一年有期徒刑。

  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,看起来一点也不像一名惯犯,更不像是会拿刀威胁女人的人。但没想到的是在他刑满释放后,他真就这么做了。

  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.

  我只是去公园吓吓他们,我没想过要伤害任何人,我只是把刀拿出来给她们看,然后希望他们中的一个能够马上报警。真有一个人报警了。总之,在过去8年的时间里,高田敏夫有一半的时间是在监狱里度过的。

  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.

  我问他是否喜欢蹲监狱,他说蹲监狱在经济上对自己有好处,因为即使在监狱里,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:“并不是我喜欢蹲监狱,而是我可以免费住在这里,当我出狱的时候,我已经存下了一笔钱,所以就不会因贫穷而那么痛苦了。”

  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一种显著趋势。在日本这个遵纪守法的社会里,65岁以上老人的犯罪率直线上升。1997年,大约只有5%的罪犯为65岁以上的老人,但在20年后的今天,这一比率已经达到了20%。

  (全文共328个词,BBC)

  重难点词汇:

  criminal  adj. 犯罪的;刑事的;罪过的,错误的;不道德的;令人震惊的 n. 罪犯

  offence  n. 犯罪;违反;过错;攻击

  petty  adj. 琐碎的;小气的;小规模的

  conviction  n. 定罪;确信;证明有罪;确信,坚定的信仰

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