By: Quiessence Royster
Crimes are put into different categories depending on what was done, how it was done, where it was done, who did it and other similar things in the legal sense. Sociologist classify crimes in the terms of how they are committed and how society views the offenses. In the book Sociology Matters by Richard Schaefer sociologist examine five types of crime.
1. Victimless Crimes: Willing exchange among adults of widely desired, but illegal goods and services. Examples: Prostitution
2. Professional Crime(Career Criminal): Crimes committed by people who pursue crime as a day to day occupation while developing skilled techniques.
Examples: Burglary, Pickpocketing, Shoplifting, Carjacking
3.Organized Crime: The work of a groups that regulates relations between various criminal enterprises involved in illegal activities.
Example: Smuggling of drugs
4. White-Collar Crimes: Illegal acts committed in the course of business activities.
Examples: Tax Invasion, Consumer Fraud, Bribery, Embezzlement
5.Transtional Crime: Crime that occurs across multiple national boarders.
Examples: Terrorism, Money Laundering
Now that we understand the types of crimes and the categories they fall under, lets think about the general meaning of crime. According to the same book listed above crime is a violation of criminal law for which some government authority applies formal penalties. With that being said why are the consequences for some crimes not as harsh as others? If someone steals of course they shouldn't be given the same punishment as someone that murdered, but if you commit a crime you should be treated as a criminal and have to deal with the consequences of having that label. Bringing me to my point, White-Collar crimes are crimes that are under much less scrutiny than any other crime.
White-Collar crimes are often committed by affluent, popular,"respectable" people. For this reason alone they aren't frowned upon as much as a "regular" person that commits a crime(or even the same crime). The label white-collar doesn't carry the stigma as the label of felon which means that people who commit white-collar crimes have a pretty good chance of continuing to live their lives as a person who has never committed a crime. White-collar crimes are not even included in crime index. Under no circumstances should crime be able to be separated from the general meaning of crime. CRIME IS CRIME! Lastly, people that commit white-collar are more likely receive fines as apposed to prison sentences.
No matter who you are, how much money you have, or whats your status if you commit a crime you should be held accountable and receive the punishment that's due for the crime you committed. As many things are unfair in the world this is another.
(Above) Milton Street. A former state senate indicted on tax invasion chargers. Sentenced to 30months in a low security prison. Released in 2010 and now running for mayor.