White Collar Criminals Are Doin’ Fine in Prison

Is the CSA busting down your door? Forget to shred some potential incriminating documents? Wore out the lengthy appeals process? Don’t worry—if you’re a white collar criminal, prison is going to treat you just fine.

That’s the news coming out of a study published in Justice Quarterly, which found that, on the whole, white collar criminals report fewer problems than the rest of the prison population. Of course, this flies in the face of the assumption that white collar criminals are more susceptible to the “pain” of prison.

The study surveyed 350 prisoners in two US federal prisons—one medium security and one low security—in Terre Haute, Indiana (it’s where Ron Swanson’s first wife, Tammy One, alludes to during Ron’s fake audit). According to the survey, not only do white collar prisoners report no greater difficulty adjusting to prison life than the average inmate, they are more likely to make friends, less likely to report general difficulties, less likely to report a need for safety, and less likely to report problems with cell mates.

The study’s authors suggest that white collar prisoners seem to be better at coping due to a number of factors: they’re educated, they’re familiar with how large bureaucracies work, and they have social support from families.

Plus, we bet they’d sue the justice system if they get abused. So there’s that.


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