Older adults lives can be affected by criminal law in several ways. In some cases, they may be the victims of crimes (for example, some forms of family violence are crimes).
In other instances, they may be the person who has committed a crime. Some older adults were incarcerated when they were young or middle aged and have grown old in jail, or they may have been charged with a crime in later life.
This page identifies resources on many aspects of older adults and criminal law.
Older Adults and Criminal Victimization
Older adults in general experience much lowers rates of victimization compared to other age groups. However some older adults fear the possibility of being victimized and other older adults significantly modify their activities so that they will not experience victimization.
Older Adults as Witnesses
Older adults are sometimes considered to be less reliable witnesses than younger adults. But what is the truth and what is fancy?
Older Adults as Criminals
Older adults can be criminals too. Some may have gone to jail when they were younger and have grown old in jail. Others may be imprisoned for offences they have committed earlier or later in life.
Statistics Canada. Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile
Each year Statistics Canada and the Canadian Cntre for Justice Statistics publish Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile which carries a section on family violence on older adults, based on recent crime statistics. These publications can include information on violence against seniors in general, family violence, assaults and family homicides,
Fazel, S. & Grann, M. (2003). Older criminals: a descriptive study of psychiatrically examined offenders in Sweden. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. Vol. 17 (10), 907 - 913
Dubnber, S. J. (February 15, 2008) Why aren't there more older criminals" "Freaknomics", New York Times.
Fazel, S. & Jacoby, R. (2000). The elderly criminal. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 15(3), 201-202