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NCJ Number: 99453 Find in a Library
Title: Rise of the Elderly Offender - Will a 'New' Criminal Be Invented?
Journal: Crime and Social Justice  Issue:23  Dated:(1985)  Pages:151-165
Author(s): F T Cullen; J F Wozniak; J Frank
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 15
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Analysis of Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) data from 1967 to 1982 refutes the contention that criminality is increasing among the elderly and reveals that elderly citizens continue to constitute less than 1 percent of the total offender population and that their basic pattern of criminal involvement has remained fairly constant.
Abstract: Using UCR arrest data on Index crimes (murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, and auto theft), this study explored the 1982 pattern of crime among citizens over 65; changes in the amount and type of illegality by age cohort from 1967-82; and the crime rate per 100,000 for those under and over 65. Although citizens over age 65 composed 11.6 percent of the population in 1982, they constituted less than 1 percent of the arrestee population. In addition, 78.6 percent of elderly arrests were for larceny-theft, a category that includes shoplifting. This percentage is over 5 times greater than the next highest category, aggravated assault. These results show a striking resemblance to the general crime patterns of female arrestees. An examination of changes that occurred in crime rates for all ages shows that the elderly's rates since 1967 did not rise substantially faster than the rest of the population, particularly when the small absolute numbers involved are considered. The article discusses reasons why social commentators have invented the new elderly offender. Tables and approximately 80 references are included.
Index Term(s): Crime rate studies; Elderly offenders; FBI Uniform Crime Reports
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