White Collar Crime

Start Free Trial

What seems to be the fate of white collar offenders who are sentenced to punishment?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I think that we have to make clear that part of the reality that governs  "White Collar Crime" is that it is treated fundamentally differently than "Blue Collar Crime."  The fact that both sets of offenders are not automatically sent to the same punishment facilities is a part of this.  The original question asked about what happens when White Collar Offenders are sent "to prison."  I think that this is part of the fate of White Collar Offenders in that they are not automatically sent to prison.  "Alternative forms of punishment" are sought in typical White- Collar cases.  The rationale for this is that the crimes are discovered long after they were initially done, as opposed to a burglary or a robbery in which discovery of the crime is relatively recent.  Yet, this is part of the fate of White Collar Criminals in that there is a fundamental sentencing difference and overall approach to punishment between it and its Blue Collar counterpart.

This might be changing, though, and this is part of the fate of the current White Collar Criminal.  The Sarbannes- Oxley Act does call for harsher punishments against specific White Collar Crimes.  In addition to this, judges, reacting to public anger over White Collar Crimes in an age of economic contraction, are offering more stringent and stricter senses of punishment.  For the White Collar Criminal, this, too, is part of their fate to be sentenced and found guilty at a time when public resentment towards White Collar Crime is fairly high, reflecting how public faith in business institutions is relatively low.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team