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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77824 Find in a Library
Title: Regulatory Role in the Containment of Corporate Illegality (From White-Collar Crime - An Agenda for Research, P 99-127, 1982, Herbert Edelhertz and Thomas D. Overcast, ed. - See NCJ-77820)
Author(s): J M Thomas
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 29
Sponsoring Agency: Lexington Books
New York, NY 10022
Sale Source: Lexington Books
866 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper examines the relationship between the control of corporate illegality through regulatory sanctions and the regulatory officials' exercise of discretion; an agenda for additional research on these issues is suggested.
Abstract: An overview of regulatory offenses emphasizes that this type of white-collar crime encompasses a wide diversity of victims and does not always involve a clearcut intent to deceive. Regulatory agencies require a conciliatory system of law because their objectives are to secure compliance and prevent future violations; these agencies do not have criminal prosecutorial authority. The article notes an increased willingness by the Federal Government to advocate criminal sanctions for regulatory offenses, as well as the growth of social regulations to protect the consumer and provide for public health and safety. The regulatory process is viewed as essentially political. Agencies' decisions are criticized as being biased in favor of organized interests, due to such causes as high caseloads and limited resources, the expertise in regulatory law acquired by enterprises which have frequent encounters with regulatory agencies, and the flexibility needed by officials to negotiate compliance with many regulations. A conceptual framework for future research on the regulatory process focuses on the negotiation of compliance and the choice of legal sanctions. Empirical research should analyze policies which guide agencies' resource allocation and regulatory priorities and study constraints on the exercise of regulatory discretion. Research topics discussed include relationships between field-level officials and the regulated and methods of coping with case overloads. The paper argues for additional studies on the criteria for selecting among sanctions, the impact of administrative remedies such as the consent decree, and public attitudes toward regulatory offenses. Footnotes and approximately 70 references are appended.
Index Term(s): Federal regulations; Regulatory agencies; White collar crime
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