The Effects of Criminal Justice Contact on Employment Stability for White-Collar and Street-Level Offenders

Academic Article


  • Criminologists increasingly have studied the effects of criminal justice contact on a broad range of offenders' adult outcomes. However, virtually all of this research focuses exclusively on street-level offenders. With the use of a unique data set that includes street-level and white-collar offenders, we investigated the odds of regaining steady employment following criminal justice contact by offender type. Specifically, we investigated the effects of age of onset, number of prior arrests, total time sentenced, timing of first arrest, and timing of first incarceration on employment stability for both types of offenders, while controlling for family background factors, race, educational attainment, and age. Overall, we found that white-collar offenders are better able to rebound following contact with the criminal justice system. However, when they accrue multiple arrests and are arrested or incarcerated before the age of 24, white-collar offenders face the same obstacles to employment stability as their street-level counterparts.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kerley KR; Copes H
  • Start Page

  • 65
  • End Page

  • 84
  • Volume

  • 48
  • Issue

  • 1