A new study suggests that white-collar criminals report no greater level of difficulty adjusting to prison than those in a general prison population. the former category comprises of people convicted of fraud, embezzlement, tax violation, anti-trust and other business offenses.
The research from the University of Cincinnati found that when it comes to specific adjustment issues- problems with cell mates, feelings of safety and general difficulties, white-collar criminals actually report fewer problems than other prison populations.
Michael Benson, professor of criminal justice at UC, said before entering prison, most white-collar criminals are afraid for their safety and terrified about aspects of serving their sentences, but the survey data they mined showed that white-collar criminals have no greater problems adjusting to prison life than other populations. And, in some instances, white-collar criminals seem to cope better.
The data for the study come from surveys of more than 350 prisoners housed in two federal prisons- one a medium-security prison and one a low-security prison- in Terre Haute, Ind.
The researchers also found that white-collar prisoners were more likely to report having made friends in prison, they were less likely to report general difficulties, were less likely to report a need for safety, and were also less likely to report problems with cell mates.
The study is published in the journal, Justice Quarterly.