Offences the Elderly Commit and their Explanations

  • Ezzat A. Fattah
  • Vincent F. Sacco

Abstract

Criminal etiology is probably the most problematic and least successful field of study in the discipline of criminology. One reason, of course, is the complex nature of crime. No crime can be traced to a single cause. Causes of crime are multiple, varied and interwoven. Some causes may be endogenic (characteristic of the individual or his or her organism) others are exogenic (characteristic of the natural environment or the social milieu). Another reason is that crime is not a homogeneous category of behavior and criminals are not a homogeneous group. Acts defined as crimes by law consist of a wide variety of heterogeneous and diverse activities which may have nothing in common except that they are all prohibited by some law under the threat of some criminal sanction. This by itself explains why it is difficult, maybe impossible, to come up with a general theory of crime explaining every type of crime and accounting for every type of criminal. It would be both naive and over-optimistic to expect that one day in the near future there will be a comprehensive criminological theory that adequately explains behaviors ranging from criminal homicide to the passing of bad cheques, from price fixing to purse snatching, from armed robbery to child molesting; a theory that succeeds in explaining violent crimes, property crimes, sexual crimes, victimless crimes, white collar crime, organized crime and so on. Furthermore, the root causes of crime might be quite different for different categories of offenders.

Keywords

Burning Depression Dementia Income Cocaine 

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Chapter Three: Recommended Readings

  1. Alston, L.T. 1986 Crime and Older Americans. Springfield, Ill.: Charles C. Thomas. Chapter Five: Counting Older Offenders. pp. 123–156.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ezzat A. Fattah
    • 1
  • Vincent F. Sacco
    • 2
  1. 1.School of CriminologySimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada
  2. 2.Department of SociologyQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada

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