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Inside South Korea's older crime wave

"Not only are they physically weaker than the younger ones, when they" Loved younger people, the chances of fighting are higher due to the generation gap and cultural differences, "said Lee Yun-hwi, deputy director of Seouls Nambu Correctional Institute. CNN visited Nambu's # 2 wing, where the prison elderly population lives – featured in wheelchairs, scales and a device for measuring blood pressure in the common area. A typical Tuesday morning at # 2 -We start at 9am with aggressively happy music over the pipes. About 30 older prisoners dressed in blue two-piece uniforms and white shoes move to the auditorium for an aerobics class. As a song titled "What's wrong with my age," the instructor plays the quests to move from side to side, bend and kick on the legs. race actions are slow – but for many of the prisoners who spend most of their time in small cells, it's an important part of the day. "It's good to prevent dementia, and I think it's emotionally healing," says Park, 71, whose full name and crime has been kept to hide its identity. Park, which has been in Nambu for two years, believes that the tip of older crime is the result of job shortages and support to the elderly. "Crime goes up when people have no money," he said. Another inmate, 70-year-old Noh, wants South Korean society to take better care of the elderly. Noh was born in the late 1940s in the middle of great chaos and…

“Not only are they physically weaker than the younger ones, when they” Loved younger people, the chances of fighting are higher due to the generation gap and cultural differences, “said Lee Yun-hwi, deputy director of Seouls Nambu Correctional Institute.

CNN visited Nambu’s # 2 wing, where the prison elderly population lives – featured in wheelchairs, scales and a device for measuring blood pressure in the common area.

A typical Tuesday morning at # 2 -We start at 9am with aggressively happy music over the pipes. About 30 older prisoners dressed in blue two-piece uniforms and white shoes move to the auditorium for an aerobics class.

 A aerobics instructor leads older inmates in simple exercises.

As a song titled “What’s wrong with my age,” the instructor plays the quests to move from side to side, bend and kick on the legs. race actions are slow – but for many of the prisoners who spend most of their time in small cells, it’s an important part of the day.

“It’s good to prevent dementia, and I think it’s emotionally healing,” says Park, 71, whose full name and crime has been kept to hide its identity.

Park, which has been in Nambu for two years, believes that the tip of older crime is the result of job shortages and support to the elderly. “Crime goes up when people have no money,” he said.

 Parts of the Nambu Correctional Institute may resemble a hospital wing more than one prison.

Another inmate, 70-year-old Noh, wants South Korean society to take better care of the elderly.

Noh was born in the late 1940s in the middle of great chaos and instability in Korea, as the Peninsula was freed from Japanese occupation before interfering with civil war and left millions of family members separated and hundreds of thousands of orphans.

He said that his generation had suffered from some of the hardest times in Korean history – yet left without saving or support of the wider society.

 Older inmates make small bags in their spare time to earn some money as they can get at their release.

Looking for a solution

Reproducing society is of course an important issue for many prisoners. About 30% of older convicted commit crimes after release – over general recidivism of 20%.

Criminolog Cho said that a social support network could make all the difference in preventing future crimes. With South Korea moving to Japan as a “sumptuous society” already in 2025, he said the public must understand the difficult situation many elderly citizens face so that such services and policies can get wider support.

Currently one of the safest places for many older prisoners can be prison itself. When many prisoners were released, Noh said, “They have nowhere to go or sleep. No money for food to eat.”

While he counted among the lucky ones, with a wife and child on the outside to support him, “Captors who spent 10 to 15 years inside are afraid to be released because they have no place to go.”

CNN’s Paula Hancocks and David Hawley contributed to reporting.

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