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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 83594 Find in a Library
Title: Environment, Crime and the Elderly (From Elderly Victim of Crime, P 45-60, 1981, David Lester, ed. - See NCJ-83590)
Author(s): M Teski
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: Charles C. Thomas
Springfield, IL 62704
Sale Source: Charles C. Thomas
2600 South First Street
Springfield, IL 62704
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The present location, living environments, and migration patterns of the elderly in the United States are discussed, and the environmental vulnerability of the elderly and their participation in crime prevention activities are considered.
Abstract: The distribution of elderly persons parallels that of the population at large. Generally, the elderly have a low migration rate, indicating that most people grow old where they have lived earlier in their lives. Since the 1950's, the number of persons 65 and over living in inner cities has been increasing more than twice the rate for the total population. This probably reflects the 'aging in place' phenomenon more than migration to cities by the elderly. This occasions an unfortunate juxtaposition of the elderly and the crime-prone younger poor in inner cities. The elderly person is and feels particularly vulnerable to crime victimization because of low income (difficult to bear financial and property loss), living alone (lack of emotional support and general assistance), reduced physical prowess, and social isolation (lack of a sense of help in dealing with problems). These vulnerability factors nurture the elderly's fear of crime, even though statistics indicate they are not as likely as younger age groups to be victimized. Fear of crime among the elderly can be reduced by creating possibilities for the elderly to participate in crime prevention activities in their environments. Volunteer work within the criminal justice system can precede employment in the system for qualified elderly. Although each crime prevention program must be tailored to the needs of a specific area, the general principles of self-help, community action, and crime control should be the guidelines for involving the elderly. Sixteen references are listed.
Index Term(s): Community involvement; Environmental influences; Fear of crime; Older Adults (65+)
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