Research Paper On Elderly Offenders

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Research Paper on Elderly Offenders


The main purpose behind this study is to assess the comprehensive profile of the elderly offenders in the United States. This research paper is an effort to understand this problem and the unique needs associated with elderly offenders. The United States is facing an alarming increase in the number of crimes committed by elderly offenders we will look into some of the major reasons behind this growing problem.

Elderly Offenders


Within our society we seldom consider elderly people as criminal offenders and a generally we assume elderly offenders to be the victims instead of the perpetrators however there is a marked increase in the amount of crimes committed by elderly offenders. The first issue that arises when assessing elderly offenders is defining the term elderly, which age can be considered elderly? Apparently there is no definitive stud that can assuredly justify when an offender becomes an elderly offender. Various papers give the age of 55 - 57 as the starting age where the criminals are considered as elderly offenders. Therefore in this research by the term elderly we will be considering criminals over the age of 50. The United Sates started the National older Offender Conference in 1982 which is annually conducted this year in order to understand the current trends and issues of older people committing crimes (Uzoaba, 1998).

Life in the prison is already a challenge and the toll it can take on a person's body and mind are immense, prison can be much tougher for people whose bodies and minds are already starting to wilt away with age.


Current Statistics of Elderly offenders

According to the Human Rights Watch from the time period 2007 to 2010 the number of elderly criminals incarcerated increased by 63% whereas the number of normal population in prison only witnessed a 0.7 percent increase within the same time period. The current population of elderly offenders age 65 and above is now 26,200.From 1995 to 2010 the prisoners aged 55 (Human Rights Watch, 2012).and above nearly quadrupled while the amount of other offenders only grew by less than half. From this data it is apparent that the number of prisoners aged 65 grew an alarming 94 times faster than the total sentenced population between 2007 and 2010. Many of the aged criminals in jail are those who committed crime while they were young but their sentencing was for 30 years and above (Human Rights Watch, 2012).

Figure 1 percentage growth in elderly offenders (Human Rights Watch, 2012)

Figure 2 Percentage increase in elderly offenders 2007 - 2010 (Human Rights Watch, 2012)

Figure 3 Types of Offences committed by elderly offenders (Tucker, 2011)

Figure 4 Number of elderly offenders by States (Human Rights watch, 2012)

Prison officials within the country face an alarming increase in the number of elderly convicts and prison officials face a growing concern in providing the elderly offenders the medical care and attention that is their human right. It is increasingly becoming overly costly of facilities to provide adequate medical and mental health ...
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