SAGE Journal Articles

Click on the following links. Please note these will open in a new window.

Journal Article 1: Ragatz, L. L., Fremouw, W., & Baker, E. (2012). The psychological profile of white-collar offenders: Demographics, criminal thinking, psychopathic traits, and psychopathology. Criminal Justice Behavior, 39(7), 978-997. doi:10.1177/0093854812437846

Abstract: The authors replicated Walters and Geyer (2004) by examining how white-collar offenders differ from non-white-collar offenders on criminal thinking and lifestyle criminality. To extend Walters and Geyer’s work, they explored psychopathic characteristics and psychopathology of white-collar offenders compared with non-white-collar offenders. The study sample included 39 white-collar only offenders (offenders who had committed only white-collar crime), 88 white-collar versatile offenders (offenders who previously had committed non-white-collar crime), and 86 non-white-collar offenders incarcerated in a federal prison. Groups were matched on age and ethnicity. Offenders completed self-report measures of criminal thinking, psychopathic traits, and psychopathology. Lifestyle criminality was gathered via file review. Results demonstrated white-collar offenders had lower scores on lifestyle criminality but scored higher on some measures of psychopathology and psychopathic traits compared with non-white-collar offenders. White-collar versatile offenders were highest in criminal thinking. Logistic regression findings demonstrated that white-collar offenders could be distinguished from non-white-collar offenders by substance use.


Journal Article 2: Van Slyke, S., & Bales, W. D. (2012). A contemporary study of the decision to incarcerate white-collar and street property offenders. Punishment & Society, 14(2), 217-246. doi:10.1177/1462474511434437

Abstract: Conventional wisdom holds that white‐collar offenders operate with relative impunity because of widespread public and governmental apathy. The present study, however, examines whether public tolerance and governmental leniency toward white‐collar offenders have endured the series of national white‐collar crime scandals emerging in 2001–2002. This study analyzes sentencing guidelines data from Florida for the period 1994 to 2004, modeling legal and extra-legal factors related to the decision to incarcerate white‐collar and street property offenders. In/out incarceration sentences imposed upon white‐collar offenders are compared with those imposed upon burglars and thieves to determine whether 21st‐century white‐collar offenders are treated more leniently than street‐level property offenders. Additional analyses consider the roles of social status and of recent corporate scandals in influencing sentencing disparities. Findings indicate that, despite operating under sentencing guidelines designed to reduce disparities, white‐collar offenders are afforded greater leniency, though this relationship varies by the type of white‐collar crime considered, the offender’s social status, and whether the sentencing occurred before or after the Enron scandal. Conclusions emphasize the salience of the definition of white‐collar crime when discussing punitiveness disparities and the relationship between white‐collar crime scandals and punishment.