Sociology Index

GREEN-COLLAR CRIME

On 18 April 2013 at Kingston Crown Court, Ian David Macdonald and David John Downes became the first people to be sentenced to prison for their role in a carbon credit boiler room scam and also among the first to commit Green collar crime. They defrauded UK the so called investors out of a total of US$9 million. Non-conventional Occupational Crimes include White-Collar Crime, Blue-collar Crime, Pink-collar Crime, Political Crime, Corporate Crime and Red-collar Crime.

Green-Collar Crime: Environmental Crime and Justice in the Sociological Perspective
Brian Wolf, Department of Sociology, University of Idaho.
Abstract: One of the understudied area is the corporate crimes that are committed against the environment for proit. Despite this dearth of research, there have been several sociologically significant examinations into some of the more serious environmental crimes committed over the last three decades. Recent studies have attempted to develop a coherent framework to study environmental crime. By linking and synthesizing two literatures in both white-collar criminology and environmental justice, sociologists have begun to develop a framework for examining green-collar crimes. This article will be a survey of these studies and development literature along with some typological and defnitional issues relevant to the subield of green-collar crimes or environmental crime. This aims to map where criminology has been in the subfield of green-collar crimes or environmental crime and provides directions for where future research should be headed.

For criminologists, environmental justice is significant as it points to a clear victimology where people from underprivileged sociological strata are unequally affected by environmental harms. Some of the most important contributions criminology can make are in understanding more about the patterns of illegality in green-collar crimes or environmental crime. Drawing primarily from questions and perspectives emergent from the subfield of white-collar crime, environmental criminologists conduct research into the forms, causes, and consequences of law breaking that harms the environment. This article is a survey of research relevant to
green criminology, the theoretical dilemmas, and methodological issues associated with studying green-collar crimes or environmental crime. Accompanying this is a review of recent studies that have reoriented the field of green-collar crime or environmental crime and paved way for future research. An offender typology and description is presented to specify what types of social actors may be involved in green-collar crimes or environmental crime.
 

The dual public issues of crime and environmental conditions are common subjects concerning the quality of life of individual people. The quality of the environment is regularly mentioned as a subjective and objective barometer of overall living conditions. Crime and environmental degradation are more than mere blights on communities; they encapsulate central questions of human rights and the overall health of humanity. Only recently have the two areas of crime and the environment been strongly linked by sociologists and criminologists.

Beginning in the late 1980s, researchers from a variety of fields, forming what is known as environmental justice, found a growing body of evidence that indicated that the victims of environmental degradation were disproportionately poor and racial minorities (Bullard 1990, 1994; United Church of Christ 1987). While the patterns of victimization became increasingly clear, relatively little was known about those responsible for green-collar crimes or environmental crime, those who profit from such crimes, and the patterns of offending among large-scale polluters (Szasz and Meuser 1997).