SAGE Journal Articles

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Do Men and Women Perceive White-Collar and Street Crime Differently?

Abstract: Public perceptions of white-collar crime have shifted from indifference to awareness based on recent, highly publicized corporate collapses and Ponzi schemes. This research explores perceptions of white-collar crime with a focus on gender. Participants (N = 900) read one of six crime scenarios involving either a white-collar crime (Ponzi scheme, embezzlement, corporate crime) or a street crime (auto theft, burglary, prostitution) committed by a male or female offender. Respondents then rated the behavior on seriousness, harshness of punishment, and offender motivation (i.e., greed and stress). Overall, the results support previously observed patterns showing that citizens see white-collar crime as a serious societal problem. Ponzi schemes are seen as more serious than the three street crimes. The findings also show differences between male and female respondents on the issues of offense seriousness, punishment, and offender motivation, but attitudes toward offenders’ gender are more ambiguous.


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Mandatory Minimum Sentences – DUI

Abstract: Throughout the past 20 years or so, the social construction of driving under the influence (DUI) as a social problem has effectuated changes in both formal and informal social controls over the DUI offender. The imposition of mandatory minimum sentences for DUI offenders appears to be one of the more popular tools of formal social control of late. This study examines the legislative history of Arizona's DUI laws from 1975 through 1995 and the corresponding changes in the DUI arrest rate in the state throughout the course of that same time period. The data suggest that a statistically significant decrease in DUI occurred as a result of the implementation of informal social controls throughout the relevant time frame but that ever-increasing criminal sanctions, including the imposition of mandatory minimum sentences for first-time offenders, have had little or no effect on DUI behaviors in Arizona.