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Demographic Characteristics of White-Collar and Common Offenders

Demographic Characteristics of White-Collar and Common Offenders

Contexts in source publication

Context 1
... we examine patterns in the life courses of the individuals in this study, it is useful to consider the demographic characteristics of the sample at the time of their conviction for the selection offense. Table 1 shows that the common criminals are younger and more likely to be non-whites than the white-collar criminals. Except for bank embezzlement, a substantial majority of offenders in all of the selection offense categories are male. ...
Context 2
... Table 1 about here----- ...

Citations

... Although the hypothesis now seems untenable, the reasons behind an unexpectedly good adjustment to carceral settings were only subject to tentative explanations (Stadler et al. 2013). Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, prior research has almost exclusively adopted offense-based definitions (Hunter 2019), which are known to produce heterogenous samples when applied to offenders instead of offences (Benson & Kerley 2000). This study aims to overcome those limitations by applying a high-quality theoretical framework to classify and explain the experience of custody in a sample of Polish politicians and businesspersons carefully selected in line with Sutherland's (1983) original concept. ...
... In the Yale studies (Weisburd et al. 1991), for instance, the adopted operationalisation, focusing on violators of specified laws, led the researchers to the conclusion that white-collar offences are mostly committed by the middle class rather than the socioeconomic elite. While including bank embezzlement and petty fraud in one category can perhaps be justified in terms of criminal phenomenology, they are usually perpetrated by individuals who differ in terms of social standing and criminal career (Benson & Kerley 2000;Benson et al. 2016). Most white-collar offenders thus defined (i.e. ...
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Article
As the awareness and extent of white-collar crime increases, the number of prison inmates from the middle and upper classes can be expected to grow. However, existing scholarship on the imprisoned white-collar offenders has geographical and methodological limits, is of a predominantly explorative nature and often employs definitions focused on the offence rather than the perpetrator. This study attempts to advance the current state of research by utilising Bourdieu’s capital theory in the description and explanation of the prison experience of a sample of 13 politicians, businesspersons, and lawyers serving prison terms for corruption and embezzlement in Poland. Deductive analysis of semi-structured interviews reveals how participants used social, cultural, and symbolic capital to secure an advantageous position whilst in prison. Due to varied assets such as their non-criminal identity, interpersonal skills and legal knowledge, the incarcerated elites studied were able to curry favour with guards, win recognition from fellow inmates and, unlike most prisoners, maintain supportive connections with the outside world. When considered within Bourdieu’s framework, these results provide an insight into the workings of capital in carceral settings, support the special resiliency hypothesis and explain it through differences in the social situation of inmates.
... Thus, our model does not predict that adults would not take risks or explore anymore, but assumes risk-taking to be determined by the interaction with agents and their environment. By these means, the model can explain why risk-taking in certain areas significantly reduces across adolescence, presumably based on experience, while other risks for instance white collar crimes, which may be much more harmful to society than the risks adolescents take, have a much later peak (Benson & Kent, 2001). Furthermore, our model predicts that significant changes in adults' ecology stage will result in a new spike in exploration and social following behaviour. ...
Article
Adolescents are often described as a strange and different species that behaves like no other age group, typical behaviours being excessive risk-taking and sensitivity to peer influence. Different theories of adolescent behaviour attribute this to different internal mechanisms like undeveloped cognitive control, higher sensation-seeking or extraordinary social motivation. Many agree that some of adolescent risk-taking behaviour is adaptive. Here we argue that to understand adolescent risk-taking, and why it may be adaptive, research needs to pay attention to the adolescent environments’ structure and view adolescents as learning and exploring agents in it. We identify three unique aspects of the adolescent environment: 1) the opportunities to take risks are increased significantly, 2) these opportunities are novel and their outcomes uncertain, and 3) peers become more important. Next, we illustrate how adolescent risk-taking may emerge from learning using agent-based modelling, and show that a typical inverted-U shape in risk-taking may emerge in absence of a specific adolescent motivational drive for sensation-seeking or sensitivity to social information. The simulations also show how risky exploration may be necessary for adolescents to gain long-term benefits in later developmental stages and that social learning can help reduce losses. Finally, we discuss how a renewed ecological perspective and the focus on adolescents as learning agents may shift the interpretation of current findings and inspire future studies.
... Some of the people who commit these types of offenses are of high social status but not a majority. Rather, the typical offender is a middle-class person but they come from a different sector of the social hierarchy than the people who are convicted of ordinary street crimes (Benson & Kerley, 2000;Benson & Moore, 1992;Weisburd et al., 1991). Nevertheless, it is important to note that regardless what aspect of white-collar crime is under investigation, the definition one uses substantially affects the results that one observes (for an illustration involving sentencing outcomes, see Galvin, 2019). ...
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Article
Over the past decade the study of white-collar crime has been undergoing a resurgence of interest, productivity, and creativity. New findings have emerged regarding the social, demographic and psychological characteristics of white-collar offenders. These findings have spurred theoretical advances in the application of standard criminological perspectives to white-collar crime, including opportunity, life course, and informal social control theory. Researchers have also made advances in understanding how white-collar offenders are treated by the justice system and how they respond to that treatment, and these advances have implications for the prevention and control of white-collar crime. In this presentation, I review these theoretical and empirical advances and suggest avenues for future research and policy on this important and harmful form of criminal behavior.
... Other studies [4,54,55] pointed out to the existence of different paths of white-collar offenders: some characterized by low self-control and no specialization, and others characterized by high self-control and specialization. However, Benson and Kerley [56] and Weisburd and Waring [53] showed that white-collar offenders resemble common offenders in relation to lack of specialization. Thus, findings regarding the specialization of WC offenders seem to remain inconclusive. ...
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Article
Several studies have produced evidence of the existence of differences between common offenders and white-collar offenders. In Portugal, however, there is little or no empirical work on this topic. To fill this gap, a survey was administered to a sample of 137 incarcerated subjects in several Portuguese prisons, separated into white-collar offenders (n = 74) and common offenders (n = 63). For this evaluation, sociodemographic, personality and self-control variables were measured. The results showed significant differences between the two groups of offenders. White-collar offenders are older, have more qualifications and are mostly married or divorced, contrasting with common offenders, who are younger, less qualified and mostly single. Moreover, findings indicate personality differences regarding “openness to experience” in both groups. With regard to self-control, the General Theory of Crime is supported as no differences were found between both types of offenders. The results are discussed and the implications of the findings are outlined.
... As discussed, criminological dispositional theories and the various influences they advance in creating dispositions have been categorized by Clarke and Cornish (1985) as background factors (see box 1). These theories, which have been developed to explain delinquency or street crimes, posit that for these groups of offenders, the participation in crime occurs early in life and during but not after adolescence (Blumstein et al., 1986;Piquero & Benson, 2004); however, this is contrary to white-collar offenses in which participation occurs much later in life, as evidenced in studies by Benson and Kerley (2000) and Weisburd and Waring (2001). They found that whitecollar offenders were around the age of 40 when they chose to participate in crimes. ...
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This research-perspective article reviews and contributes to the literature that explains how to deter internal computer abuse (ICA), which is criminal computer behavior committed by organizational insiders. ICA accounts for a large portion of insider trading, fraud, embezzlement, the selling of trade secrets, customer privacy violations, and other criminal behaviors, all of which are highly damaging to organizations. Although ICA represents a momentous threat for organizations, and despite numerous calls to examine this behavior, the academic response has been lukewarm. However, a few security researchers have examined ICA’s influence in an organizational context and the potential means of deterring it. However, the results of the studies have been mixed, leading to a debate on the applicability of deterrence theory (DT) to ICA. We argue that more compelling opportunities will arise in DT research if security researchers more deeply study its assumptions and more carefully recontextualize it. The purpose of this article is to advance a deterrence research agenda that is grounded in the pivotal criminological deterrence literature. Drawing on the distinction between absolute and restrictive deterrence and aligning them with rational choice theory (RCT), this paper shows how deterrence can be used to mitigate the participation in and frequency of ICA. We thus propose that future research on the deterrent effects of ICA should be anchored in a more general RCT, rather than in examinations of deterrence as an isolated construct. We then explain how adopting RCT with DT opens up new avenues of research. Consequently, we propose three areas for future research, which cover not only the implications for the study of ICA deterrence, but also the potential motivations for this type of offence and the skills required to undertake them.
... The famous Yale study of persons convicted of federal offenses in the 1970s found that on average white-collar offenders were older, more likely to be white, and more likely to be male than persons convicted of other types of offenses (wheeler, weisburd, waring, & Bode, 1988). Research also found that white-collar offenders in the 1970s had higher levels of educational attainment, more stable employment histories (wheeler, weisburd, et al., 1988), and less exposure in childhood to abuse or neglect (Benson & kerley, 2000). However, although the white-collar offenders in these studies differed significantly from persons convicted of other types of offenses, the average white-collar offender did not fit the common stereotype of the whitecollar offender as a person of high social and economic status. ...
... Hence, for the most part, whitecollar offenders are thought to be at low risk of recidivating. However, the present study and others (Benson & kerley, 2000;Piquero & weisburd, 2009;weisburd et al., 1991) indicate that this view is not entirely correct. Although not as high as the original studies of the PCRA, a noteworthy percentage, 9.9%, of white-collar offenders scored in the moderateand high-risk categories (Lowenkamp et al., 2015, found 17.6% were scored as moderate or high). ...
Article
While many risk assessment tools have been subjected to validation studies, less research has examined their utility with white-collar offenders. Given that white-collar offenders tend to have different social and economic backgrounds than other types of offenders, it is important to understand how risk assessment applies to this population and how risk assessment might help judges and other court and correctional decision makers understand risk of future harm among this understudied group. We examine the ability of the Post Conviction Risk Assessment to predict revocation on a sample of 31,306 white-collar offenders by reviewing the predictive validity of the risk levels and risk score. The analyses support the use of risk assessment with white-collar offenders and provide further support for applying the risk and needs principles to what is considered a unique population. Other implications for risk assessment and judicial decision making are discussed. © 2018 International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology.
... Unlike delinquent behavior, in which initial involvement in crime occurs early in life or during but not after adolescence (Blumstein, 1986;Piquero & Benson, 2004b), the initial involvement for white-collar criminals generally occurs much later in life. Indeed, studies by Benson and Kerley (2000) and Weisburd and Waring (2001) found the average age at initial involvement for white-collar criminals to be around 40 years old. In an attempt to provide an explanation for this interesting phenomenon, Piquero and Benson (2004b), drew on the findings of existing research (Weisburd, 1991;Weisburd & Waring, 2001;Wheeler et al., 1988) and noted the role of situational influences. ...
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Article
Criminal organizational insider computer abuse (ICA) research has focused on factors that influence either ICA intentions, or actual behavior during the ICA process. However, we argue that this research has not correctly conceptualized the decision-making processes involved in ICA. Thus, our first aim is to demonstrate this opportunity by leveraging the rational choice perspective (RCP) from criminology. The RCP advances an "event" stage, in which choices are made leading up to and during the criminal act. However, the RCP also acknowledges a preceding "initial involvement" stage, which encompasses those factors that lead an individual to consider participation in crime. RCP explains that if, during the initial involvement stage, an individual becomes motivated and decides that future criminal behavior is the most suitable course of action, then he or she will have reached a state of "readiness." It is only after an individual has become readied, and at a later time, does the individual make event decisions in the perpetration of a specific crime. Consequently, extant ICA research has overlooked consideration of why-prior to the crime-an individual initially considers engaging in such criminal activity in the first instance. Notably, this consideration should not to be conflated with intentions. We argue that there needs to be a clear distinction between those motivational factors that would lead to the consideration of such engagement at the initial involvement stage, and those factors that would lead an individual at the event stage to perpetrate a crime. We thus propose a revised version of the extended security action cycle (ESAC), which reflects these criminal decision-making stages. Moreover, we provide a means through which to identify and understand the relationship among those factors that may motivate an individual during the initial involvement stage, by drawing on the life course perspective (LCP). With a focus on time, context, and process, the LCP offers a framework in which are inscribed four key principles. Through examples drawn from the LCP and white-collar crime literature, we illustrate how these principles can provide a basis for conceptualizing factors that motivate ICA and open up new avenues for future research/theory development. Disentangling insider computer abuse.
... Moreover, the mean number of arrests was substantially lower for white-collar offenders than non-white-collar offenders (1.79 vs. 5.63). Similar observations were made by Benson and Kerley (2000) who noted that the average number of prior arrests was lower for white-collar offenders than non-white-collar offenders (1.65 vs. 5.90). Additionally, they found that the age of onset for white-collar offending was substantially higher than non-white-collar offending (24 vs. 19) (see also Weisburd et al., 1991). ...
... The idea that white-collar offenders are especially sensitive to the prison experience stems from the fact that they differ substantially from other offenders with respect to their social and background characteristics, as well as their experience with the criminal justice system (Benson & Kerley, 2000;Benson & Moore, 1992;Weisburd et al., 1991). In light of these differences, members of the criminal justice community-namely judges-have argued that entering prison is particularly shocking for white-collar offenders. ...
... Over 80% of this group had at least one arrest since their most recent admission and approximately 17% had spent time in another facility prior to their incarceration. The number of multiple arrests for those in the offense-based group is considerably higher than observed in other studies (Benson & Kerley, 2000;Weisburd et al., 1991). Only 39% of the whitecollar offenders in Benson and Moore's (1992) sample had a prior arrest. ...
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Article
This study uses nationally representative prison data to test two competing theories of how white-collar offenders experience prison. The first perspective, referred to as the special sensitivity hypothesis, assumes that because of their social and demographic background characteristics white-collar offenders are more susceptible to the pains of imprisonment than other inmates. The second perspective, referred to as the special resiliency hypothesis, is based on the idea that these same background characteristics may reduce the pains of imprisonment for white-collar offenders. Ordinal and binary logistic regression models are used to estimate the effect of white-collar inmate status on several indicators of psychological adjustment. The current study finds partial support for the special resiliency hypothesis, but not the special sensitivity hypothesis. The results for each outcome are discussed regarding both theoretical and practical applications. The study’s limitations are also addressed and suggestions for future research on incarcerated white-collar offenders are given.
... R. Piquero, 2008) and they are shaped by the interaction of constitutional and environmental factors (Moffitt, 1993;Laub & Sampson, 2003). The application of the developmental and life course perspectives to white-collar crime is in its infancy (Benson & Kerley, 2000; N. L. Piquero & Benson, 2004), and trajectory analysis in regards to white-collar crime is even less advanced and still primarily descriptive rather than explanatory (Menard and Morris, 2012; N. L. Piquero & Weisburd, 2009;Weisburd & Waring, 2001). But description is an important first step in the accumulation of knowledge. ...
... One reason underlying the small amount of attention to this area is the rarity of longitudinal data collection efforts explicitly accounting for white-collar crimes. Further, much of the data utilized in the study of white-collar crimes are pulled from official court records, rather than customized data collection efforts (e.g., Benson & Kerley, 2000;Morris, Copes, & Perry-Mullis, 2009;Weisburd & Waring, 2001). Only recently have longitudinal data become available that capture information through adulthood, and measure self-reported whitecollar crime offenses (e.g., Menard & Morris, 2012;Menard et al., 2011). ...
Article
In contrast to street offending/delinquency, no study to date has explored how white-collar offending develops across the life course using self-report data. This paper fills this gap in the literature by exploring latent developmental profiles of self-reported white-collar offending across a 16-year period. These trajectories are then compared in terms of concurrently reported street crimes. Data for analysis were culled from Waves 7 through 11 of the National Youth Survey Family Study (NYSFS) when the original respondents were between 22 and 44 years old. Six latent offending profiles were identified and were characterized through the lens of previous research and theory.