1st Edition

White-Collar Offenders and Desistance from Crime Future selves and the constancy of change

By Ben Hunter Copyright 2015
    226 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    226 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The MPs’ expenses scandal in England and Wales and the international banking crisis have both brought into focus a concern about ‘elite’ individuals and their treatment by criminal justice systems. This interest intersects with a well-established concern within criminology for the transgressions of such offenders. However, up until now there has been little sustained consideration of what happens to such offenders following conviction and little discussion of how they attempt to avoid reoffending in the wake of their punishment.

    This study rectifies this omission by drawing upon white-collar offenders’ own accounts of their punishment and their attempts to make new lives in the aftermath of it. Detailing the impact of imprisonment on white-collar offenders, their release from prison and efforts to be successful again, this book outlines the particular strategies white-collar offenders used to cope with the difficulties they encountered and also analyses the ways they tried to work out ‘who they were’ in the post-release worlds they found themselves in.

    Representing the first sustained qualitative study of white-collar offenders and desistance from crime, this book will be of interest to academics and students engaged in the study of white-collar crime, desistance from crime and prison. The insights it offers into a particular group of offenders’ experience of criminal justice would also make it useful for criminal justice practitioners and anyone who wishes to understand the challenges faced by a group of offenders who are assumed to have many advantages when it comes to desisting from crime.

    Introduction: White-Collar Offenders and Desistance from Crime  1. The Challenge of White-Collar Offenders’ Desistance  2.  Searching for the Self  3. Autobiography and the Search For ‘Truth’  4. Imprisonment and the Assault On The Self  5. Who Am I? Self and Identity in The Post Punishment World  6. The Journey to Self: Success, Failure and Change  7. Becoming who one was: Professional-Ex Roles  8. Becoming Who One Is: Religious Conversion Narratives and Desistance  9. An Existentially Informed Understanding of Desistance.


    Ben Hunter is Senior Lecturer in Criminology at University of Greenwich, UK. His research interests focus on desistance from crime, white-collar crime and the contributions of existential philosophy to understandings of offenders’ lives.

    ‘How do white-collar offenders struggle to rebuild their selves and their future post-release? With his highly perceptive book on this topic Ben Hunter has contributed not just to the field of desistance studies, but to what might just as well be called existentialist criminology.’ - Ronnie Lippens, Professor of Criminology, Keele University, UK

    ‘This book makes a significant contribution to criminological debates concerning identity, existentialism, white-collar crime and desistance. Drawing on a range of published autobiographical accounts, Ben Hunter’s existential approach critically examines how white-collar offenders’ sense of self-identity is challenged and reconstructed by their experiences of both imprisonment and resettlement. This is a fascinating and unique study of deviant identities, and is a book I will certainly be recommending to students and colleagues.’ - James Hardie-Bick, Lecturer in Sociology and Criminology, University of Sussex, UK