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NCJ Number: 52221 Find in a Library
Title: NOTE - CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR AMONG THE ELDERLY
Journal: GERONTOLOGIST  Volume:18  Issue:2  Dated:(APRIL 1978)  Pages:213-218
Author(s): D SCHICHOR; S KOBRIN
Corporate Author: Gerontological Soc
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Gerontological Soc
Washington, DC 20006
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: TRENDS IN CRIMINAL OFFENSE PATTERNS AMONG CITIZENS OVER 55 YEARS OF AGE ARE EXAMINED, AND THE IMPLICATIONS OF THESE TRENDS FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE POLICY ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: DURING THE 11-YEAR PERIOD FROM 1964 THROUGH 1974, ARRESTS FOR INDEX (FELONY) CRIMES AS A PROPORTION OF TOTAL ARRESTS INCREASED BY A SUBSTANTIAL 43 PERCENT FOR ALL AGE GROUPS. IN THE ELDERLY POPULATION, ARRESTS FOR INDEX CRIMES INCREASED BY 224 PERCENT WHILE ARRESTS AMONG THE CRIME-PRONE YOUTH GROUP REMAINED STEADY AT ABOUT 40 PERCENT. ELDERLY CITIZENS SHOWED A MORE PROMINENT PATTERN OF VIOLENT CRIMES THAN EITHER THE TOTAL ARRESTED POPULATION OR THE YOUTH GROUP. AGGRAVATED ASSAULT WAS MOST SIGNIFICANT IN THE CATEGORY OF VIOLENT OFFENSES, WITH ARRESTS CONSISTENT AT ABOUT 80 PERCENT OF TOTAL ARRESTS FOR VIOLENT OFFENSES IN THE 55 YEARS AND OVER AGE GROUP. ARRESTS OF THE ELDERLY FOR SERIOUS PROPERTY OFFENSES WERE LARGELY CONCENTRATED IN THE GENERAL AREA OF LARCENY-THEFT. FIVE NONINDEX (MISDEMEANOR) OFFENSES WERE NOTABLE FOR THEIR PROMINENCE IN ARREST STATISTICS ON THE ELDERLY: GAMBLING, DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE, DRUNKENNESS, DISORDERLY CONDUCT, AND VAGRANCY. LITTLE INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE WITH REGARD TO SETTINGS IN WHICH VIOLENCE AMONG THE ELDERLY OCCURS, WEAPONS OR OTHER MEANS EMPLOYED, AND THE CHARACTER OF ASSAULT VICTIMS. A PLAUSIBLE HYPOTHESIS FOR PROMINENCE OF VIOLENT CRIMES AMONG THE ELDERLY IS THAT INTERPERSONAL PRIMARY RELATIONSHIPS BECOME INTENSE AS THE RANGE OF SOCIAL INTERACTION CONTRACTS WITH ADVANCING AGE; THE RESULT IS INCREASED OPPORTUNITIES FOR CONFLICT. RELATED TO THE CONTINUING INCREASE IN THE NUMBER AND PROPORTION OF ELDERLY PERSONS IN THE POPULATON IS THE DEVELOPMENT OF GROUP CONSCIOUSNESS. THERE APPEARS TO BE A LINK BETWEEN THE CIVIC STATUS OF GROUPS AND THE DEGREE OF CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY ATTRIBUTED TO MEMBERS FOR LAWBREAKING ACTS. IN TURN, THE STATUS OF GROUPS IN THE STRICTEST SENSE IS A FUNCTION OF POLITICAL POWER. THE POSSIBILITY OF AN INCREASE IN THE ATTRIBUTION OF CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY TO THE ELDERLY WILL CONFRONT CRIMINAL JUSTICE AGENCIES WITH NOVEL PROBLEMS IN DISCRIMINATING AGAINST IMPAIRED AND COMPETENT ELDERLY OFFENDERS IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE. REFERENCES AND SUPPORTING TABULAR DATA ARE INCLUDED. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Crime patterns; Elderly offenders; Trend analysis
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=52221

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