Older Offenders in Victoria

The Council has studied offenders who were sentenced aged 60 years and over.

The proportion of Victorians aged 60 years and over has steadily increased over the last five decades and is expected to continue rising.

An aging population has flow-on effects on the prison population, sentencing policy and the administration of sentences.

Figure: Proportion of Victorians aged 60 and over

Area graph showing the population growth of Victorians aged 60 and over, from 13% in 1971 to 21% in 2019

While many studies have examined issues relating to older prisoners, far less published research has looked into older offenders more broadly. To address this gap, the Council published Sentencing Older Offenders in Victoria in September 2021.

The report examines:

  • trends in the number and proportion of older offenders who were sentenced between 2010 and 2019
  • the age, gender and offence profile of older offenders
  • the sentences imposed on older offenders
  • prior offending by older offenders.

The Council also examined the relevance of advanced age as a sentencing consideration.

Table: Proportion of Victorians aged 60 and over, 1971 to 2019 (source: Australian Bureau of Statistics)

Year Proportion
1971 13%
1972 13%
1973 13%
1974 13%
1975 13%
1976 13%
1977 13%
1978 14%
1979 14%
1980 14%
1981 14%
1982 14%
1983 15%
1984 15%
1985 15%
1986 15%
1987 15%
1988 16%
1989 16%
1990 16%
1991 16%
1992 16%
1993 16%
1994 16%
1995 16%
1996 17%
1997 17%
1998 17%
1999 17%
2000 17%
2001 17%
2002 17%
2003 17%
2004 18%
2005 18%
2006 18%
2007 18%
2008 19%
2009 19%
2010 19%
2011 19%
2012 20%
2013 20%
2014 20%
2015 20%
2016 20%
2017 20%
2018 21%
2019 21%