January 2014

Natalie Blackburn

VOL. #1 ISSUE #1 English 1010

Incorrect Criminal Stereotypes
What brought this prejudice?
Since childhood one would always witness images on the news of the most
recent crime committed. Because this type of crime happens every day, young children have the notion that all crime is street crime. Even though they have all gotten older and now hear stories of various types of crimes, the public can still only picture the crimes of when they were young. Street crimes are usually committed by lower class members of society because they do not have the education or money to fend for themselves. This leads them to robbery, thievery, harassment, and other extremes. Crime is a trigger word in the brain which produces the image of a low

class male to commit a crime. Just because it happens more often, does this mean
that individuals should always think of the same type of person to do it?

Famous Criminals: Positive Vibes

Usually when Americans think of criminals there is a predetermined image in their mind of what that criminal would look like; typically male, unshaven, wearing baggy clothes. This is because they are constantly seeing images on the news and internet of those who commit street, also known as blue collar, crimes consisting of individuals who are a part of the lower class. Lower class members do not have access to great lawyers and cannot afford bail, leading them to end up in jail and on the news. “White collar” crimes tend to become more hidden and covered up- suspects have the money to do so. Martha Stewart committed fraud and

obstruction of justice by pulling out thousands of her shares of stock in a company when she heard the value would soon plummet.
Because she was such a well known and loved television icon she paid her way out of jail and became even more popular, despite her dishonesty. Billions of dollars went missing but was not noticed for several months because Jerome Kerviel was a devious man. He stole exorbitant amounts of money and only had to go to prison for three years. (Levi) These two white collar criminals along with several others have been able to cheat the system and receive limited sentencing for their crimes.

Only one of these is a convicted felon. Kerviel lost “more money than God and only slightly less than Warren Buffet”. (Gerri)

January 2014



What to Be Aware of
    Money can be stolen physically from a wallet, online fraud, or face to face interactions. Anybody can scam another. A poorly dressed young man may have more integrity than a wealthy woman. Anybody can commit a crime, but there is a certain stereotype of people who do it.

Street crimes happen all around the country every single day. Because it happens so often, these types of crimes are shown on the news each day. Lower class persons tend to be the ones to commit these crimes because they need the money or were raised in a difficult environment. Images are presented on a daily basis of typical people who commit street crimes. However, fraud, bribery, embezzlement, and other white collar crimes can happen just as often and can cause just as much damage as a major street crime.
“We should not be surprised that the juxtaposition of technical education, social engineering skills, and poor economic prospects stimulates [crime]. (Levi)

Bringing prejudice to the crime scene.
Americans need to be careful in how they view crime and what they say about these wrongdoings. Street crimes are shown more regularly than white collar crimes; nobody stops to think about the bigger and broader picture of crime. Lower class individuals can commit serious crimes, but so can high class people. Higher societies reflect a kind of moral ambiguity that is lacking in the case of many more familiar street crimes. Green and Kugler state: Whether a given actor will be punished as a criminal, or admired….will often depend on nuanced moral judgments and subtle distinctions in facts. Predetermined judgments of what a serious crime is affects the brain’s perceptions for the rest of somebody’s life. Some may think that certain crimes are not as terrible as others, and a mental picture arises accusing certain individuals that fit the crime scenario.

Works Cited
Gerri. "10 Famous White Collar Criminals." N.p., 22 Mar. 2012. Web. 13 Jan. 2014. Green, Kugler "Public Perceptions Of White Collar Crime Culpability: Bribery, Perjury, And Fraud." Law & Contemporary Problems. 13 Jan. 2014 Levi, Michael. "States, Frauds, And The Threat Of Transnational Organized Crime." Journal Of International Affairs 66.1 (2012): 39-50. Academic Search Premier. Web. 13 Jan. 2014.