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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 81455 Find in a Library
Title: Criminal Deviance Among the Elderly
Journal: Canadian Criminology Forum  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:(Fall 1981)  Pages:45-54
Author(s): M A Jackson
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 10
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This paper relies upon epidemiological findings from the literature to explain deviance in the elderly.
Abstract: Aged offenders have obtained more skill in their deviant behavior, so they may be less easily detected than younger deviants. They tend to commit crimes, such as fraud, which are less likely to result in an arrest or conviction than other types of crime. Older offenders are also less likely to be incarcerated even if they are arrested and convicted. To explain the decline in criminality among the elderly, disengagement theory postulates that as the older person disengages from society and becomes more internally oriented, more attention is given to spiritual needs and the ramifications of wrongful behavior. This acts as a deterrent against deviance. Other theories are reviewed which attempt to explain the existence of crime in the elderly, with special attention devoted to elderly first offenders, crimes of violence, offenses related to drinking, and sexual offenses (the 'dirty old man'), and suicide rates among the elderly are examined. Differences in elderly men and women in relation to commitment of crimes are also considered. No single theory emerges from the literature to explain elderly delinquency. About 40 references are supplied.
Index Term(s): Alcohol-Related Offenses; Deviance; Older Adults (65+); Sex offenses; Suicide; Violent crimes
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