This paper reviews and assesses current and past theory and research on environmental crime.
Enhanced protection of the physical environment was the focus of legislative and regulatory initiatives in many nations in the closing decades of the 20th century. The strength of the environmental movement and the attention paid to environmental crime are belied by the paucity of systematic data on its extent and distribution, its perpetrators, and responses to it. Organizational offenders have received by far the greatest attention from investigators, and case studies compose a substantial part of the research literature. Rational-choice approaches predominate. Most states give regulatory agencies primary responsibility for responding to environmental illegalities and crime. They generally do not operate vigorously, and penalties imposed are not severe. Criminal prosecution of environmental offenders occurs infrequently. Responsive regulation is touted s an effective response to traditional problems of control and regulation, but it remains a promissory note. The increasing globalization of economic relationships makes more difficult and further challenges regulatory oversight of increasingly transnational corporations. (Published Abstract)
United States of America