White Papers / Journal Articles

The Economic Crime Institute publishes white papers on contemporary topics dealing with topics such as economic crime investigations, risk management, computer forensics, information assurance, white collar crimes, cybersecurity, and other related topics. Occasionally these publications are journal articles.

Public perceptions of white-collar crime and punishment
Authors: Kristy Holtfreter, Shanna Van Slyke, Jason Bratton, and Marc Gertz
Journal of Criminal Justice 36 (2008) 50 – 60
College of Criminology and Criminal Justice,
Florida State University,
634 West Call Street,
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1127
United States

Although financial losses from white-collar crime continue to exceed those of street crime, the criminal justice system has traditionally
focused on the latter. Past research suggested that citizens are more likely to support punitive sanctions for street offenders than white-collar
offenders. Recent corporate scandals have increased public awareness of white-collar crime, but whether public attitudes have been altered
remains to be determined. Using a 2005 national sample of 402 telephone survey participants, the current study examined citizen perceptions of
white-collar and street crime, as well as attitudes regarding apprehension and punishment. This research extended prior studies by also
considering the influence of sociodemographic characteristics as well as perceptions of white-collar crime and punishment on the public’s
support for increasing resource allocation. Implications for future research and development of more effective white-collar crime control policy
are discussed.
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