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White Collar Crime

Is restorative justice reasonable as a response to white collar crime? Is it an appropriate response? These are articles and resources on restorative justice and white collar crime victims and perpetrators.

Restorative justice: a way forward with the banks?
from the article by Martin Wright on no-offence.org There are calls to prosecute and imprison individuals, rather than merely fine the companies, but putting them in the dock is expensive and they can often use legal technicalities to avoid it. It does little for the victims over and above the compensation which the bank is paying anyway. So what can be done?
No restorative justice for those bereaved by Potters Bar
from Louise Christian's article in the Guardian: The farcical nature of the criminal proceedings against the companies so long after the [train crash in which two women were killed] is the consequence of the failure of accountability at the time it happened. Jarvis and its chairman, Steven Norris, made spurious claims of sabotage and there was a delay of nearly two years before liability was admitted by Network Rail and Jarvis. Even then the admission was done with bad grace. The government initially delayed making any decision on whether to have a public inquiry until December 2005. The following year Lord Justice Moses refused to overturn this decision after the bereaved families challenged it in court. However, he said that any new evidence should lead to a reconsideration by the government and he stressed the importance of restorative justice: "They (the bereaved) do seek some identification; faces, names, the real people whose anonymity cannot be hidden behind the facade of monolithic organisations." And he continued: "If those individuals, whose actions or omissions might have saved life or contributed to death, fear that they may one day have to come face to face with those who suffer as a result of that they have done or failed to do, life may be protected in the future."
It's time to make the punishment fit the white-collar crime
from the Nelson Mail (NZ) editorial: ....it's not easy to maintain a clear-eyed focus on justice. Very few New Zealanders will feel that this is what happened when Blue Chip co-founder Mark Bryers entered the dock on Thursday to be sentenced on 34 charges. Most, and particularly the Blue Chip investors who have lost their nest eggs, will feel that his sentence was a perfect case of the "slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket".
Coolstore fire inquiry in doubt
from Phil Taylor's article in New Zealand Herald: There may be no independent inquiry into the Icepak Coolstore disaster that killed fireman Derek Lovell and injured seven colleagues. But Mr Lovell's family and the injured firemen could be in line for a payment from the coolstore company, which has admitted breaching safety regulations.
Wall Street Financier Bernard Madoff sentenced to 150 years in prison: restorative justice would think of the victims first
I am often asked to give an example of how restorative justice would work in the real world. The Bernard Madoff ponzi scheme, one of the largest corporate fraud schemes in U.S. history, is a great case in point. Bernard Madoff was sentenced on June 29 to 150 years in prison leaving thousands of victims behind. What will become of them? If restorative justice were applied to Madoff case what would it look like? Complicated? Absolutely. But that should never prohibit the application of restorative justice to any crime.
Löschnig-Gspandl, Marianne. Corporations, Crime and Restorative Justice
Corporate crime is understood as being various crimes committed by corporations, which actually means committed by their representatives for the benefit of or on behalf of the corporation. These crimes include economic crime (money laundering, bribery, price fixing), misrepresentation in advertising, production and sale of unsafe products, deceptive packaging, environmental crime, and also crimes against persons including crimes causing injury or death. Corporations can also be victims. Combining elements of corporate crime with restorative justice means that one must search for methods, procedures, and strategies to react appropriately to offenses committed by legally liable corporations. These reactive measures must contain elements of restitution, and compensation or mediation. Up to now, corporate liability has not existed in the Austrian criminal justice system. The Austrian Ministry of Justice is considering the introduction of a true criminal liability because of the principle of equality as well as its necessity for effective crime prevention; and because there will be an obligation to do it by European legal instruments. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjrs.org.
Murphy, Kristina and Harris, Nathan. Shaming, Shame and Recidivism: A Test of Reintegrative Shaming Theory in the White-Collar Crime Context.
Despite the popularity of reintegrative shaming theory in the field of criminology, only a small number of studies purporting to test it have been published to date. The aim of the present study, therefore, is to provide an empirical test of Braithwaite's (1989; Braithwaite and Braithwaite 2001) theory of reintegrative shaming in the white-collar crime context. The data on which the study is based came from survey data collected from a group of 652 tax offenders. Consistent with predictions, it was found that feelings of reintegration/stigmatization experienced during an enforcement event were related to reoffending behaviour. Those taxpayers who felt that their enforcement experience had been reintegrative in nature were less likely to report having evaded their taxes two years later. Consistent with Braithwaite and Braithwaite's (2001) hypotheses, shame-related emotions were also found to partially mediate the effect of reintegration on subsequent offending behaviour. Implications for the effective regulation of white-collar offenders are discussed. (author's abstract)
Capito, Benjamin and Goredema, Charles and Fundira, Bothwell and Goba, Ray and Munyoro, Joseph and Banda, Jai. Confronting the Proceeds of Crime in Southern Africa: An Introspection
The six authors all address money-laundering in Southern Africa, with each author concentrating on a different country. Banda describes legislation in Malawi designed to fight money-laundering. Munyoro posits that there is still much work to do in Zambia and then considers what areas specifically need improvement. Fundira examines three scenarios that have particular application to Zimbabwe. Goredema reviews what South Africa has done to stop money-laundering and financing terrorism. Goba analyzes the state of money-laundering in Namibia. Capito explores what measures have been implemented in Mozambique.
Editor. Restorative Solutions to Small Business Crime.
In March 2007 the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) released the findings of a recent survey which asked its’members how they were affected by crime. Sandra Beeton, Director of the Association of Referral Order Panel Members, summarises the most significant findings and key points of the resulting FSB Action Plan below and reports on her discussion with Steve Sharp, Chairman of Weston Super Mare branch of FSB. (excerpt)
Levi, Michael. Suite Justice or Sweet Charity? Some Explorations of Shaming and Incapacitating Business Fraudsters
In reviewing the extent to which fraudulent behavior attracts shaming responses and the extent to which fraudsters are likely to care about the shame imposed on them, this article explored the use of shaming and stigma against white-collar criminals or financial criminals and evidence on their impact. Shame can unintentionally turn into stigma when some of those shamed are inappropriate targets. Shame is a subjective emotional state of significant complexity, where without social hypocrisy shaming would be reduced. This study examined the conditions or stages of successful shaming which included: (1) the application of shaming and its interpretation by significant others; (2) the offenders’ behavior must change in response; and (3) reintegration into society. The examination revealed that potential damage to business prospects was potentially more important then shame per se to the impact of informal sanctions. However, culture was seen as an important component of the process of shaming. Additional research was recommended to offer confidence in the effectiveness of shame aside from the difficulties of applying it in practice.
Löschnig-Gspandl, Marianne. "Corporate crime and restorative justice."
Arguing that traditional criminal justice systems should be transformed into restorative justice systems, Löschnig-Gspandl applies restorative justice to corporate crime. She defines the nature of corporate crime, including discussions of corporations as offenders and corporations as victims. Corporate crime should be dealt with in restorative ways. She construes restorative justice primarily in terms of processes and practices such as compensation orders and alternative dispute resolution. She even explores potential applications of victim-offender mediation with respect to corporate crime. In her scheme restitution is in itself an important, comprehensive purpose of criminal law.
Braithwaite, John. 'Retributivism, Punishment and Privilege."
A theorem of justice states that where desert is greatest punishment will be least. Though white collar and corporate criminals deserve greater punishment than street offenders, pursuing a policy of retributive punishment will do more harm than good because: (1) corporations will litigate sanctions endlessly, and (2) to prevent greater harm in future, corporations must have incentives to report harmful activities. Strict punishment will remove the incentive to self-report. Punishment should be used as a mechanism of last resort when there is no more constructive way of solving a social problem.
Benson, M.L. "Emotions and Adjudication: Status Degradation among White-Collar Criminals."
A study uses interview data to explore the emotional experiences of 30 white-collar offenders. Adjudication generated anger and rage, as well as shame and embarrassment, in the respondents. Both anger and rage have potentially dysfunctional effects in that they undermine commitment to the legitimacy of the law. Following Braithwaite (1989), it is argued that the U.S. justice system, which is based on "disintegrative" rather than "reintegrative" shaming, is counterproductive.
Hubschle, Annette and Itzikowitz, Angela and Warutere, Peter and Gwintsa, Nomzi and Mthembu-Salter, Gregory and Goredema, Charles and Munyoro, Joseph. Money Laundering Experiences
This monograph not only examines recurrent trends in dealings with the proceeds of crime in East and Southern Africa. It goes further to probe the strengths and weaknesses of the critical agencies set up to check the abuse of the legitimate entry points to the economy in infusing such proceeds. The monograph comprises seven chapters. (excerpt)
Braithwaite, John. Restorative Justice for Banks Through Negative Licensing.
The most general lesson of the crime prevention literature is taken to be that repeat victimization and repeat offending are concentrated in time and space; early intervention to prevent wider inflammation of such hot spots is more effective than reactive general deterrence (as in economic models of crime). That prescription is applied to how the 2008 financial crisis might have been prevented and how the crimes of Enron and Arthur Andersen might have been tackled to ameliorate the 2001 crisis. Negative licensing based on walking the beat and kicking the tyres at financial hot spots, with reduced reliance on economic models of risk, is one remedy advocated. Then, the threat of negative licensing might be used to motivate restorative justice that transforms the ethical culture, particularly the bonus culture, of banks. (author's abstract)

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