The most common condition afflicting these men is loneliness. Some serve their sentences without seeing a single visitor. Their relatives are either dead, live too far away or, unable to cope with the shame of having a criminal in their midst, have ceased all contact."When one of those inmates dies, the prison discreetly arranges a cremation and sends the ashes to his closest relatives," Tomohiko Ogawa, the chief warden at Onomichi, says during a tour of the prison. "When we did a survey of prisoners due to be released, half said they were happy, not because they were regaining their freedom but because they had someone waiting for them on the outside. Not all of them are so lucky."
July 17, 2015 at 3:30 AM EDT