1 QUESTION IN CRIMINAL JUTICE On Elite Deviance – Coursework Example
The escalating protests in Wall Street in the United s demonstrate growing public outrage against corporate greed and white-collared crimes. In truth, white-collar criminals have enjoyed tremendous impunity through the decades, using their power and wealth in order to obscure wrongdoing and perpetuate themselves even more. Big corporations tinker with the economic and political system to their advantage. This is called “elite deviance”, a concept to which David Simon ascribes the following characteristics:
acts that are committed by persons of the highest echelon in society, some of the acts committed violate criminal statues, or are seen as unethical and immoral , actions by the elites were done for personal gain, or to enhance their prosperity and influence, and there was little danger or probability that the individual committing the act would receive a stern punishment (Simon, 2008)
.There are ways, however, by which the risks of elite deviance might be mitigated, through addressing these characteristics. One important way is to have a criminal justice system that is not susceptible to bribery or undue influence. The main difference between the well-off and the ordinary people is that the well-off have resources to secure impunity for themselves when they commit white-color crimes. By ensuring the the police cannot be bribed, when whistleblowers within corporations are assured of adequate protection, when courts are willing to dispense justice equally, and can freeze assets if necessary to restrict the movement of the white-collared accused, we go a long way in preventing elite deviance. Another important way is to legislate for transparency of records – whether corporate records or government records. Public access to these documents will prevent crimes such as the Enron scandal from taking place. But perhaps the most important solution is public consciousness – the public must be vigilant against corporate greed and white-collar crime. A society that creates disincentives for white collar criminals through a culture of resistance and zero-tolerance is a society founded on the principles of justice and equity.
Simon, D. (2008). Elite Deviance, 9th ed. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.