White Collar Street Crime Essay

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White-Collar Crime or Street Crime: Which is More Costly to Society?
What is crime? Merriam-Webster defines crime as “an act or the commission of an act that is forbidden or the omission of a duty that is commanded by a public law and that makes the offender liable to punishment by that law” (Merriam-Webster). There are many types of crime but the two this paper will focus on are street crime and white- collar crime. There is no definitive definition of street crime, but it is generally thought of as crime that occurs in public such as theft, robbery, car theft, arson, drug dealing, and vandalism. The term “white-collar crime” was first coined by Edwin Sutherland in 1939 in reference to crimes perpetrated by people in higher
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Dr. Anderson categorized the effects of crime into four categories: 1) Crime-induced Production which accounts for resources used for purposes that would not be necessary if it weren’t for crime, such as correctional facilities, personal protection items, and drug trafficking. He asserted that if not for crime the resources expended on these items could have been used for purposes more beneficial to society. The estimated cost for crime-induced production was $400 billion annually; 2) Opportunity Costs which account for the productivity loss of incarcerated potential workers cost society $5,700 a year per offender or approximately $130.3 billion annually. Since crime is a full-time occupation for many, the goods and services criminals could produce is a cost to society; 3) The Value of Risks to Life and Health includes the emotional and psychological impact of being victimized or the fear of being victimized, and the value of lost life and the value of injuries. These costs were estimated to be $574 million; 4) Transfers refers to the transfer of assets from victim to criminal. Robberies were estimated to have a $775 million cost. The gross burden of crime was estimated to be $1.7 billion or $4,118 per capita (Anderson, 1999).
Dr. Anderson’s study used many statistics and took into account factors that most would never realize contributed to the cost of crime, which seem to make for a very…