White Collar Criminality Analysis

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In Edwin Sutherland’s 1940 article, “White Collar Criminality,” Sutherland argues that poverty is not a causing factor of criminal behavior, and a primary example of such a fact are white collar criminals themselves. He also argues that both white collar and lower class criminals learn criminal behavior, a topic called Differential Association coined by Sutherland, suggesting that the conditions in which one lives cannot be directly correlated with crime. Nonetheless, Sutherland’s central complaint in his article is the lack of punishment given to these upper-class criminals. Because of their social status, esteemed jobs, and positive stigma in their social institutions, white collar criminals oft escape the punishment they deserve. Sutherland …show more content…
According to Sutherland, White Collar Criminality has more of a devastating impact on the social institution rather than the everyday crimes we hear take place from lower class criminals such as burglaries. One reason Sutherland gives in his article for white-collar criminality affecting the community as a whole more so is that these criminals are “socially accepted and approved” of in our societies such as physicians or “merchant princes and captains of finance and industry” (Sutherland, 2). Because of their higher ranked social statuses, White Collar Crimes result in a “violation of delegated power or implied trust” (Sutherland, *). The examples given by Sutherland of these criminals- physicians, bankers, stockbrokers- are those who affect a large number of people and …show more content…
The criminal justice system, as described in the textbook, has the responsibility of detaining both lower class and white-collar criminals, giving them the punishment they deserve, and preventing future violations of the law (Ritzer, 136). However, the present system lacks the means necessary to conduct the job. The book states that not only have the numbers of prisoners being detained gone up, but the number of jails being built has decreased and cannot keep up with the increasing number of prisoners. As a result, jails have become “warehouses for prisoners” (Ritzer, 137). The packed prisons result in a lack of care and rehabilitation which has not helped reduce recidivism, and instead the prisons have created a “criminogenic effect leading to more crime” (Ritzer, 138). Those who have spent time in prison often return to prison because they have conducted other crimes. Prisons were supposedly designed to keep criminals away from the people in everyday society and to encourage and rehabilitate them to prevent them from committing other crimes. From what was stressed in Sutherland’s article, he believed in a correctional institute that would dissuade criminals from conducting more crimes after they have been punished, so the declining helpfulness of the facilities in today’s society would

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