Female prisoners in Japan

This weeks show was a real eye opener.  So sad that elderly women have to resort to committing a crime in order to have a roof over their head and food to eat.  But how far behind are we here in the US?  I am guessing but I think the cost of housing them in prison would be much higher than a stipend from the government to cover their basic needs.  Then again, I could be wrong. My other question is where are the families’ of these women?   Is there no family member that can help them?  Then again I look at our situation here in the US and would ask that same question.  Where are the families of all the homeless people?  I guess none of these dilemmas have a simple answer.    In my admittedly  judgmental observation, we Americans seem to be quick to farm out our family members to institutions and the care of others, expecting someone else to take care of them.  Granted there are times where it is warranted, but I think frequently it is just “easier”.    Life isn’t easy.    I think taking care of our own is our responsibility.