The elderly offender: relative frequency and pattern of offenses

Int J Aging Hum Dev. 1984;20(4):269-81. doi: 10.2190/7ehc-59dh-aec9-lcyf.


There is considerable literature on the elderly victim but almost none on the elderly offender. This study presents data on the relative frequency of felonies and misdemeanors by age and patterns of offenses for one jurisdiction, Dade County (Miami), Florida in 1980 and 1982. The pattern of offenses by the elderly was found to be varied with no concentration in the expected areas (shoplifting and child molesting). Age was found to be a better predictor of offense rates than sex or race. Persons aged eighteen to twenty-four were 138 times as likely to be charged with a felony as persons aged sixty-five and over. The highest offense rate for any age/sex/race subgroup (non-white male, eighteen to twenty-four) was 3,089 times the rate for the subgroup (white females, sixty-five and over) with the lowest felony rate.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged / psychology*
  • Crime*
  • Female
  • Florida
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Theft