Who is an offender?
Most crimes are committed by males between the ages of 15 and 25. Some offences are more prevalent among certain classes. For example, older, white males most often commit corporate offences, just as men commit most crimes of interpersonal violence from lower socio-economic classes. This doesn’t hold true for domestic or sexual crimes, where there is a fairly even distribution across social and economic classes. In many ways those we consider to be offenders are those who have gone to prison. Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years, and went on to lead a nation, so it is not necessarily always a negative stigma. For sentencing purposes, an offender is someone who is subject to a sentencing order, be it a fine, or a term of imprisonment. If you have ever appeared in a Magistrates Court for a driving offence, you are an offender.