As America’s population continues to surge with aging boomers, older adult sex offenders also increase in our communities and institutions. Many states restrict where registered offenders can visit or live. Restrictions usually include certain distances from child safety zones, but some states also have included senior safety zones to protect other older adults in or near centers and housing where they congregate. The National Sex Offender Public Website provides the public with access to sex offender data nationwide. NSOPW is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Justice and state, territorial, and tribal governments, working together for the safety of adults and children.
In terms of health issues, older adult sex offenders have particular risk factors related to their treatment and future stability such as dementia or other mental health issues. Their physical health issues must also be considered when being placed in the community. Current research on older adult sex offenders indicates that older offenders, previously thought to be similar to young offenders, pose a much lower risk to repeating offenses than their younger counterparts. However, emphasis on the need for individual analysis and management of each case is stressed.
An example of a 100-year-old sex offender who showed no indications of repentance regarding his sexual offenses is featured in this video. Theodore Sypnier was convicted of molesting children and was released from prison with post-release supervision and registration with the state.
(Postscript: Because he would not attend sex offender classes while on parole, Theodore Sypnier was returned to prison where he died at the age of 101.)