U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Controlling State Crime in the United States of America: What Can We Do About the Thug State? (From Varieties of State Crime and Its Control, P 31-57, 2000, Jeffrey Ian Ross, ed. -- See NCJ-186517)

NCJ Number
Stephen C. Richards; Michael J. Avey
Date Published
27 pages
State crime in the United States is discussed in the context of the "thug State," political crime, State complicity with corporate crime, and crime committed by intelligence and police agencies.
The central feature of the thug State is the growing influence of intelligence and police power. Controlling the thug State requires a critical perspective on State power since the thug State has developed sophisticated systems of surveillance. In the area of political crime, corporate money is the deciding factor in nearly all electoral contests and debates over public policy, and corporations commit State crime when they buy politicians to enact legislation or government policies that serve their interests. Although corporate crime can involve price fixing, monopoly power, manufacturing unsafe products, and environmental damage, perhaps the most egregious area involving State complicity with corporate crime is in the area of labor-management relations. Tactics used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other intelligence agencies in the political arena are reviewed, as well as illegal activities of police agencies. The authors conclude controlling State crime requires an informed public with the courage to demand the administrative and constitutional control of powerful State agencies and corporate elites. 7 notes