skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 82235 Find in a Library
Title: Social Organization of White-Collar Sanctions - A Study of Prosecution and Punishment in the Federal Courts (From White-Collar and Economic Crime, P 259-275, 1982, Peter Wickman and Timothy Dailey, ed. - See NCJ-82224)
Author(s): J Hagan; I Nagel; C Albonetti
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 17
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 study of white-collar crime sentencing decisions in Federal district courts shows that offenders with high incomes receive more lenient sentences and that plea bargaining required to gain convictions and guilty pleas produces more lenient sentences.
Abstract: A total of 6,562 cases sentenced in the 10 Federal district courts from 1974 to 1977 were examined. A procedure described in Hagan et al. (1980) was used to identify 31 offenses consensually recognized as white-collar crimes; remaining offenses were designated common crimes. This dichotomy was cross-classified with the offender's income. Four kinds of cases were identified: common crimes of high-income persons, the white-collar crimes of lower-income persons, the common crimes of low-income persons, and the white-collar crimes of high-income persons. The 10th district was unique in its disproportionate prosecution of persons involved in white-collar crimes. Mean sentence-severity scores were determined for the various offender-offense groupings. With a variety of other important variables held constant, the protactive district was found to grant lenient sentences to higher-income persons convicted of white-collar crimes. Two case studies of white-collar cases revealed that the obtaining of convictions and guilty pleas that will eliminate costly trial proceedings required the use of more lenient sentences. This was largely due to the nature of white-collar crimes, where the evidence required to convict must be obtained from persons who participated in the crime. Tabular data, 23 references, and 3 notes are provided.
Index Term(s): Federal courts; Plea negotiations; Sentencing/Sanctions; White collar crime
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.