Sunday, November 29, 2009

Integrating Policy with Street Crime and White-Collar Crime

Street crime and white collar crime are both intentional and devise a plan to affect someone negatively, other than yourself.  Generally, street crime is more violent in nature when compared to white collar crime.  However, white collar crime can have a more devastating effect financially and emotionally, when compared to street crime which has similar effects but can also represent negative physical effects as well.  

The penalties involving white collar crime and street crime tend to be the same sort of punishment, but the length of time and commitment is highly versatile.  Some examples of penalties or punishments for committing a white collar crime or street crime include “...large fines, home detention, community confinement, costs of prosecution, forfeitures, restitution, supervised release, and imprisonment” (Criminal Defense Advocates, 2008).  When comparing the two types of crime and taking a deeper look into a societal problem one must ask themselves, which crime affects society worse...white collar crime or street crime?

Street crime offenders tend to come from a lower socio-economic status (generally speaking) when in comparison with white collar criminals.  According to the book, White-Collar Crime and Criminal Careers, it states “...unlike most street criminals white-collar offenders are often employed and may have conventional career histories” (Weisburd & Waring, 2001).  However, one misleading question I have asked myself through this research is...should white collar crime and street crime be categorized together or separate?  In my opinion, both have detrimental effects, but street crime has a certain shock value and fear attached with the meaning.  In most cases, street crime is an intentional violent offense, which can result in a traumatic death of innocent victims.  On the other hand, white collar crimes can result in death, but in most cases it is due to the use of sub-standard use of equipment or construction materials.  The two types of crime should not be categorized together because each has different meaning behind the crime committed.  

Street crime is intentional and most of the time well-planned ahead of time.  The offender often targets the right victim who is vulnerable and defenseless; this assures the offender the victim will be submissive to their criminal act to avoid any potential harm to themselves.  White collar crime is also intentional and takes place over a longer period of time.  Their could be several victims and several offenders taking place in white collar crime, however the potential danger lies within financial constraints and emotional stability.  In street crime, the danger can be physical, emotional, mental, and financial; results can end in life-threatening injury or death.  

Street crime has safety concerns and white collar crime has financial concerns; without safety or financial stability lives of U.S. Citizens will become unstable and more crime (of any type) will be committed in order for survival to take place.  If people have families they need to support, since white-collar crime took their financial stability, the parent/guardian will do anything it takes to provide for their family; which can lead to committing street crimes in order to obtain an income or financial stability.  

White-collar crime is the root to most crimes committed in the United States.  For an example, if you have a financial stable family making well over their needed income and the wife/mother in the family commits a white-collar offense of bribery and corporate embezzlement; the family will have a high risk of being financially ruined.  The two spouses might then have to resort to burglary, robbery, or other street crimes in order to provide for themselves.  According to Su Epstein, “...certain ethnic or racial groups may get arrested or convicted more than others due to prejudices within the criminal justice system, however this is not an indication that the group commits more crime”, and this situation proves to be true within social class as well (Epstein, 2008).  Social inequalities exist within street crime, white collar crime, and how the offender is prosecuted.  Social class, gender, race, and ethnicity plays a large role in whether crimes are prosecuted fairly or whether the offender will receive a “break” and be let off the hook for the crime committed.  Inequalities still exist in street crime and white collar crime, but both are equally harmful to society and present a danger to society.  

Epstein, Su. (2001).  Suite 101: “Who, What, & Where of Street Crime”.

Waring, Elin,  Weisburd, David.  White-Collar Crime and Criminal Careers.  Cambridge University Press: New York, NY, 2001.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Background Information On: White Collar Crime

Non-violence is the word, when most individuals ponder of white collar crime.  It is a criminal offense that is non-violent in nature and usually involves deception, lies, and fraud to obtain business-like or profit-related outcomes.  White-collar crime tends to happen over a substantial period of time leaving evidence along the way, which is generally used is prosecution of a suspect.  White collar crime affects 1 out of every 3 American households, and this is suspected to be even higher, many victims do not report the crime; they fear nothing will be done to help his/her case against the suspect (Einstein Law, 2008).  A variety of white collar crimes are committed within the United States, and most individuals feel they have not been a victim, when evidence will show they had.  White collar crimes vary in seriousness, such as “...embezzlement, bribery, larceny, extortion, fraud, price fixing, racketeering, computer fraud, obstruction of justice, perjury, securities and commodities law violations, and environmental law violations...” (Einstein Law, 2008).

White collar crime is the leading non-violent crimes committed in the United States.  Victims often feel their lives have been invaded and have no legitimate privacy of their personal lives; this is often true concerning identity theft and bribery.  The victims are loosing the sense of privacy as the offender is gaining their victim’s lose.  Accidents do not occur in white collar crime, the acts are purely driven by greed, potential profit gain, and secrecy (Keel, 2008).  Other characteristics are associated with white collar crime, such as the crime is created over an extended period of time.  The offenders of professional and corporate crimes are rarely ever “prosecuted and convicted”, due to the amount of money it would cost tax payers to convict a white collar criminal (Keel, 2008).  If convicted of a white collar crime, the punishment is usually solved with a money penalty, probation, or a light prison sentence.  

Some white collar crimes can result in accidental injury or even death; depending on the type of corporation, such as a construction company using sub-standard building materials.  If a worker would accidentally die on the job or if an individual lives in an apartment complex built of sub-standard materials, and he/she would die because of a construction building error; these would all be considered white-collar crime.  In most cases it is intentional manslaughter, so the corporation would receive a money penalty or a light prison sentence (Trac Reports, 2009).  

White collar crime is categorized as a non-violent crime involving a potential gain for profit.  Also, it can cause non-intentional physical injury or even accidental death.  Offenders are rarely prosecuted because white collar crime tends to go unnoticed with the amount of violent crimes being committed in the United States.

Web Sites Used/Resources (please give credit to the sources below on the quoted statements within this blog):

TRAC REPORTS.  (2009).

Keel, Robert O.  2008.

Background Information On: Street Crime

Patterns to street crime seems to be a likely stereotype, but on many cases the pattern proves to be correct.  Street crime is terrifying because it has a certain amount of shock value when occurrences consistently happen in a community.  Street crime statistics show that “more crimes are committed by men than by women”, this does not mean women are not offenders; however, offenders are generally of male descent (Epstein, 2001).  Street crimes include a wide range of offenses both violent and non-violent in nature.  For an example, violent offenses would include rape, robbery, homicide, gangs, and drug-related incidences can be linked to violent street crimes.  All street crimes have the potential to be violent, but there are some non-violent categorized crimes;  Such as, property offenses, auto theft, burglaries, and petty theft (Valdosta, 2009).  

Generally, street crime offenders will begin their planning and practices at a early age, known as “delinquent” offenses, which are becoming more violent in nature because of the high number of gang members who are still juveniles (Valdosta, 2009).  When a member of a gang must commit to his/her fellow members he/she must show them trust and dedication.  In most cases, it means committing a violent crime, also known as a “street crime”, or must endure a painful initiation process with pain inflicted on his/herself.  According the Su Epstein, racial background can be one of the most influential factors in regards with street crime.  The Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that in the years between 1976 to 2005, African American or “black” individuals have some of the top rated homicide percents in “felony murder, drug related, gun homicide, and argumentative circumstances” (USBJS, 2007).  However, black victims tend to be pointed out at a much higher rate, due to racial inequality within the United States.  On the other hand, when in comparison with white offenders, the Bureau of Justice Statistics report findings that white individuals of non-Hispanic descent also have some of the top rated homicide percents in “intimate homicide, family homicide, infanticide, eldercide, sex-related, gang-related, workplace, arson, and poison” (USBJS, 2007).  The statistics presented are accurate through the year 2005, and the data shows that most of the homicides committed were intra-racial, and did not result in a race inequality, also known as a “hate crime”.

Street crime does not affect every individual, and “attack” of a street crime is unexpected in nature.  Victims of street crime have one commonality among them, they never thought it would happen to them...until it did.  Now, some victims try and speak out to other potential prey to keep their guard up and never think it would not happen to you.  

Web Sites/Resources Used (Please give credit to quoted citations to these sources below): 

Epstein, Su. (2001).  Suite 101: “Who, What, & Where of Street Crime”.