A recent report shows that drug crimes and other criminal behaviors are taking place at an alarming rate. Not unusual. Except for the fact that the study found the uptick to be in the age range between 50 and older.
Why Turn to Drug Crime?
Doesn’t seem to make sense, until you consider that people are living healthier and longer, and thus, need to have more money to sustain them into their retirement years. It makes sense that grandma and grandpa would turn to selling unused painkillers, such as OxyContin for some cash. Especially when, according to one report, those painkillers can fetch between $50 and $80 a pill.
A recent report by the Florida Department of Corrections suggests its elderly prisoner count increases annually by an average of more than 1,000. In fact, between 2000 and 2014, the prison population grew from 5,605 elderly persons to 21,002 … an average increase of 9.9% per year. That’s more than three times higher than the general prison population growth rate.
Other Reasons for Drug Crime
While financial reasons are a big factor, there are others, including: feelings of loneliness, isolation, depressed mood, stress, anxiety, inadequacy, boredom, and sometimes just “not giving a damn.” Further more, in some cases, when elderly men lose their spouse and other loved ones, they often prefer jail to home because it ensures that three meals are available every day.
Not Just Drug Crimes
But it’s not just drug crimes that are seeing a rise. Amongst the 50+ age group, shoplifting and drunk driving are the most common. Additionally, illegal use and distribution of drugs, sexual offenses, and even violent crimes are on the rise. And murder in the 50+ age group has risen more than 15% in the last decade, according to one report. Drug crime arrests have tripled during this same period.
Source: Forbes, Would You Commit A Crime For Retirement Income? October 15, 2014