Criminal Embeddedness and Adult Income: Do the Effects Vary for White-Collar Versus Street-Level Offenders?

Kent R. Kerley, Mississippi State University
Heith Copes, University of Alabama - Birmingham

With his concept of criminal embeddedness, Hagan provides an important linkage between the stratification and criminological literatures. Hagan's work demonstrates how contact with the criminal justice system impacts both criminal and non-criminal life domains. Most studies demonstrate a continuous deleterious effect of criminal embeddedness on the economic adult outcomes of street-level offenders. However, these studies have not considered how criminal embeddedness may affect the adult outcomes of white-collar offenders. Using a unique dataset of 4,446 federal offenders incarcerated for both street-level and white-collar offenses, we investigate whether the effects of criminal embeddedness, as measured by age of onset, number of arrests, and total time incarcerated, are different for white-collar as compared to street-level offenders. We conclude with the implications of our findings for criminal justice policy.

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Updated 05/20/2006