Pulitzer Center Update

This Week: How Japan is Working to Address the Rise in Elderly Women Imprisonment

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Almost 1 in 5 women in Japanese prisons is a senior. In the vast majoriy of those cases, the women were found guilty of shoplifting. 

Finding Comfort in Prison

Shiho Fukada

With the world's oldest population, Japan faces unforeseen challenges—like the growing number of elderly women in prison. The crimes these women commit are usually minor: in 9 of 10 cases, the seniors are found guilty of shoplifting. Some of the women are looking for excitement, some just want things they can't afford. But as Shiho Fukada reports for Bloomberg Businessweek, many are desperately lonely. "I enjoy my life in prison more," says Mrs. N, 80. "There are always people around, and I don’t feel lonely here... when I was out, I couldn’t help feeling nostalgic.”

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One IDP camp near Sittwe can only be accessed by sea with boats transporting vital aid supplies such as rice and cooking oil. Image by Mathias Eick (CC BY-ND 2.0). Myanmar, 2013.

One IDP camp near Sittwe can only be accessed by sea with boats transporting vital aid supplies such as rice and cooking oil. Image by Mathias Eick (CC BY-ND 2.0). Myanmar, 2013. 

A Dubious Plan in Myanmar

Timothy McLaughlin

Myanmar has pushed its powerful business executives to pump millions of dollars into Rakhine State, the site of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya. But there are many questions about who will benefit, reports Timothy McLaughlin for The Washington Post.

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Omirserik Ibragimov, 25, uses a net to ice fish on the frozen surface of the North Aral Sea near Tastubek, Kazakhstan. Image by Taylor Weidman. Kazakhstan, 2017.

Omirserik Ibragimov, 25, uses a net to ice fish on the frozen surface of the North Aral Sea near Tastubek, Kazakhstan. Image by Taylor Weidman. Kazakhstan, 2017.

An Ecological Comeback

Dene-Hern Chen and Taylor Weidman

The rapid collapse and ruin of the Aral Sea is considered one of the world's worst ecological disasters. But as Dene-Hern Chen and Taylor Weidman report for National Geographic, part of the sea is now experiencing a revival.

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