Do white-collar offenders find prison more punitive than property offenders. Club Fed or Club Dread?

Author:David C. May, Brian K. Payne
Position:Department of Sociology, Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi, USA
Pages:230-243
SUMMARY

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to use exchange rate theory to compare how white-collar offenders and property offenders rank the severity of various correctional sanctions. Design/methodology/approach The authors use survey data from 160 inmates incarcerated for white-collar and property crimes in a Midwestern state to compare how white-collar inmates differed from property ... (see full summary)

 
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Do white-collar oenders nd
prison more punitive than
property oenders
Club Fed or Club Dread?
David C. May
Department of Sociology, Mississippi State University, Starkville,
Mississippi, USA, and
Brian K. Payne
Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA
Abstract
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to use exchangerate theory to compare how white-collar offenders
and propertyoffenders rank the severity of variouscorrectional sanctions.
Design/methodology/approach The authors use survey data from 160 inmates incarcerated for
white-collar and property crimes in a Midwestern state to compare howwhite-collar inmates differed from
property inmates in ranking the goals of prison and the punitiveness of prison as compared to other
alternatives.
Findings White-collar offenderswere no different than property offenders in terms of their assessmentof
the punitivenessof prison compared to the punitiveness of the four sanctionsunder consideration here. White-
collar offenders weresignicantly more likely than property offenders to believe thatthe goal of prison is to
rehabilitaterather than deter individuals from further crime.
Research limitations/implications Because the authors de ned white-collar of fenders by their
crime of incarceration, they may have captured offenders who are not truly white-collar offenders.
Focusing on offenders who were in prison did not allow them to fully examine whether similarities
between white-collar and property offenders can be attributed to adjustm ent to prison or some oth er
variable.
Practical implications Alternative sanctions may be useful in punishing white-collar offenders in a
less expensive manner than prison. Results suggest white-collar offenders may be more amenable to
rehabilitation than property offendersand may not experience prison much differently than other types of
offenders.
Originality value This research is important because it is the rst of its kind to comparewhite-collar
offendersviews about the punitiveness of prison and the goals of incarceration with those of property
offenders.
Keywords White-collar crime, Exchange rates, Alternative sanctions, Community corrections,
Punitiveness of prison
Paper type Research paper
Historically, it has been believed that white-collar criminals are rarely sentenced to prison
(Payne, 2012). This notion changed, at least somewhat, in the 1980s and 1990s when an
increasing number of white-collar offenders received prison sentences (Payne, 2012). Some
authors argued that thisincrease the use of incarceration for white collar offendersreected
a general get-toughapproach to white-collar crime, while others suggested that the
JFC
25,1
230
Journalof Financial Crime
Vol.25 No. 1, 2018
pp. 230-243
© Emerald Publishing Limited
1359-0790
DOI 10.1108/JFC-11-2016-0073
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
www.emeraldinsight.com/1359-0790.htm

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