Elderly criminals: A study of the first criminal offence in old age

Yoram Barak*, Tova Perry, Avner Elizur

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the majority of criminal offences are committed by young persons, about 1% of crimes have been reported in men over 65 years of age. Among prison populations association between old age and mental illness is often reported. We decided to evaluate all first‐time criminal offenders in the greater Tel Aviv area aged 65 years or older. Each person against whom the District Attorney brought forth an indictment in the period 1987–1992 was interviewed by a psychiatrist specializing in psychogeriatrics. Twenty‐six males and two females were thus evaluated. Their average age was 69.2 years (range 65–80). Forty‐three per cent of the offences were of a financial nature, and serious violence presented in 10.7% of the cases. Fifty per cent of the study's series suffered from a neuropsychiatric disorder, dementia and personality disorders accounting for half of those.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-516
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1995


  • Israel
  • first criminal offence
  • mental health
  • old age


Dive into the research topics of 'Elderly criminals: A study of the first criminal offence in old age'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this