Trauma and stress among older adults in the criminal justice system: a review of the literature with implications for social work

J Gerontol Soc Work. 2011 May;54(4):390-424. doi: 10.1080/01634372.2011.552099.


The purpose of this article was to review the empirical literature that investigated trauma and stress among older adults in the criminal justice system. Nineteen journal articles published between 1988 and 2010 were identified and extracted via research databases and included mixed age samples of adjudicated older and younger adults (n = 11) or older adult only samples (n = 8). Findings revealed past and current trauma and stress, consequences and/or correlates, and internal and external coping resources among aging offenders. The implications and future directions for gerontological social work, research, and policy with older adults in the criminal justice system are advanced.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Criminal Law*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Social Work / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Stress, Psychological*
  • Wounds and Injuries*