A Detailed Analysis of Elderly Offenders

Canada is one of the countries where elderly offender population has been increasing through the years. Uzoaba (1998) of Canada Correctional Service closely analyzed the elderly offender population by segregating them to three separate groups. indicates that in Canada in 1998, those admitted first offender at age 50 and up and those found guilty while young and grew old in prison were the largest population among the elderly inmates. Uzoaba (1998) reported that in Canada those convicted in later life maybe a professional guilty of fraud, embezzlement or theft after a number of years of

successful business venture or maybe a violent crime offender guilty of sex crime or maybe an alcoholic guilty of vehicular homicide. Finally, added by the author, the elderly convict can be a drug offender with no record of previous drug abuse. 3 On the increasing population trend of elderly offenders, Table 2 provided evidence of 47. 5% increase of 50-54 age bracket which is the highest among the age group during the 1993 to 1996 year span. The data also revealed the increasing trend in population of elderly offender is continues regardless of age bracket.

This is an indication that offences are being done over the years and the segment which did the most offence is the 50-54 age bracket. The elderly population increase was compared with the increase of younger inmates in the period of May to July 1996; the researcher proved that the growth of elderly offender is 10 times higher than the younger offenders (150 vs. 127 for younger offenders). This goes to show that elderly offender population grows more rapidly than the younger offenders in federal prisons. Considering the locations where orderly offenders are located, it follow the trend that

the more progressive an area, the higher the crime rate. In Canada, the trend with crimes being committed and the elderly population goes together as shown in Table 4. It is a known fact that Ontario is the most metropolitan of all the regions in Canada. The data shows that more elderly convicts came from the area giving evidence to the hypothesis Population of elderly offenders by region, May to July 1996. that the more progressive the area, the higher the population of criminals which include the 4 elderly offenders. Looking on the types of crimes being committed by elderly offenders,

Table 5 provided evidence that sexual offence is the most common being committed followed by homicide. Considering the educational background of elderly offenders, commonly, as in Canada, the less educated are more prone to do crimes as shown in Table 6. Regardless of age, the lower the educational attainment, the higher the likelihood to commit crimes. On the issue of committing crime and work or employment security, it was proven that convicted elderly and young offenders lack trade and professional skills and they have no stable jobs.

Lack of money to support for the basic needs might have forced the offenders, young and old alike to commit crimes. In the case of elderly offenders, lack of stable job to maintain their usual activities as incorporated in their comfort zone usually drive them to commit crimes. On the issue of family and marital relations, the elderly offenders normally 5 has a childhood with dysfunctional parent relation, has experienced abuses from their parents and has a broken family. On the marital situation aspect, money problems and sexual

dissatisfaction usually lead the offender to do crimes as shown in Table 8. On the type of friends and associates by elderly offenders, Table 8 provide evidence, that association with substance users and criminal friends are the top reasons or causes for their being an offender. The feeling of isolation brought about by being not a member of any community association ranks third in the causes for being an offender. Table 10 show evidence that elderly offenders began alcohol intake at early age and this practice goes on till

grown up years leading to alcohol abuse. This pattern usually leads elderly offenders to committing crimes. On drug abuse and being an offender, Table 12 provide evidence that drug abuse is highest in the 65 and up age group and revealed that drug intake start at early age. Lack of money, no collateral and no credit resulting to difficulty paying bills were admitted by all age groups as reasons for them to do crimes as presented in Table 14. On the situations related to understanding oneself Table 15 revealed that among the indicators considered,

difficulties solving interpersonal problems, problem with family ties and being left with no choices as the main causes leading to being a law offender. Table 17 shows evidence that close to 25% of those incarcerated regardless of age have negative attitude towards the court, law and police. This explains the increasing trend of new elderly offenders in almost all countries. Table 18 shows that law offenders value society but they value most the substance abuse over anything and accepted the fact that they lack direction life which led them to being a law offender.