White-collar crimes are denoted by deceit, mistrust, concealment, and financial misappropriations. Physical force is not often applied to advance white-collar crimes because the techniques often used to advance such crimes are embezzlement, bribery, credit card fraud, trade secret theft, economic espionage, and computer manipulation. These crimes are mostly committed by government officials and professionals in the corporate sector. This essay evaluates white-collar crimes from the perspective of Reiman’s argument “The rich get richer and the poor get prison” where class and criminal justice intertwine to compromise the dispensation of justice. This argument is further backed up by Sagar’s article, “The concept of White-Collar crime” and Dodge’s article, “The marginalization of white-collar crime victimization” to reveal white-collar criminalization failures in the United States.
Reiman’s article demonstrates that American prisons are a mass of low-level citizens. His concept majorly focuses on class differences in justice dispensation. According to Reiman, the poor are more likely to be arrested and prosecuted as compared to the rich (Reiman 141). He questions the improper use of justice mechanisms in the judiciary for having favored the rich because of the nature of crimes they commit. Biasness to justice when the poor and affluent Americans commit the same act is a prevalent occurrence in the country’s system (Reiman 141). The justice system appears to violate the basic fairness of American citizens because the rich apply their corporation muscle to perpetuate victimization. The impact of power on justice is vividly evident in American society and calls for various perspectives and scholarly arguments to address the controversies.
From Sagar’s perspective, legal framework and accountability are structured on political will, civil society role, clean politics, free corruption, and democratic governments. The author uses an analytical approach to convey his argument on the concept of white-collar bias and accountability (Sagar, 151). Society is submissive to superior political power due to weak justice institutions. Political interference has led to favoritism in appointing judicial judges which tamper with judicial independence. The advent of technology and the growth of education in society increase the rate of white-collar crime. Inadequate internal auditing and supervision further escalate the crime (Sagar 154). Strengthening the American justice system will entirely eradicate the menace. Dealing with a white-collar crime like any other crime will significantly reduce the rate of occurrence. The author recommends further research into opportunities leading people to commit white-collar crimes and establishes necessary preventive measures for curbing the issue.
Dodge vividly unfolds a sense of bias in America’s criminal justice system. The author points out the likelihood of arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment of the poor as being high in comparison to the rich (Dodge 26). Reporting white-collar crimes is a big issue as the victims do not often take matters to court. The author uses a case study approach to major white-collar incidents in 2018 to portray a critical view of the problem. He perceives white-color crime as deadly as any other crime while denoting many aborted surgeries caused by embezzlement of funds meant for the purpose (Dodge 28). In his perspective, there is a need to redefine crime such that it doesn’t legitimatize white-collar crime and parade the poor and weak as serious criminals. Dealing with poverty, and unemployment and actively prosecuting the white-collars offenders would drastically reduce the social bias.
If justice is truly just, white-collar crime and other crimes should be given the same attention in the rule of law. White-collar causes more severe effects on the economy as it involves more dollars compared to street crime but is punished less severely. The public should be educated on the serious effects of white-collar crimes. By so doing, there is a need to redefine crime and include all dangers involved rather than the dangerous actions of the poor and typically redefine the image of the justice system. Excuses in prosecuting white-collar crimes must be condemned because it makes the lives of wealthy criminals easier. This further leads to demonizing the poor and denying them the support they deserve.
Dodge, Mary. “A black box warning: The marginalization of white-collar crime victimization.” Journal of White Collar and Corporate Crime 1.1 (2020): 24-33.
Reiman, Jeffrey. “The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison.” Inequality: Social Class and Its Consequences (2015): 141.
Sagar, Aneel. “The Concept of White-Collar Crime: Nature, Causes, Political and Legal Aspects in Accountability and Way Forward.” Journal of Political Studies 26.1 (2019).