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"Just because Somebody Is in a White Jacket and Has a Medical Degree doesn't Mean they're Not a Drug Dealer": Law-Enforcement Experiences Investigating Occupational Offenders

NCJ Number
American Journal of Criminal Justice Dated: 2020
Date Published

Since little empirical research exists into law-enforcement personnel’s attempts to secure arrests and prosecutions of occupational offenders, the current study used data from in-depth interviews with officers and agents tasked with investigating physicians suspected of profit-motivated overprescribing of opioids, a type of occupational offending.


Despite its dangers and prevalence, occupational crime is rarely addressed through criminal-law channels, largely because resource constraints and legal rules or ambiguities hamper criminal investigations and prosecutions. The themes that emerged during data analysis highlight specific challenges to these criminal investigations and the ways police and prosecutors circumvented such obstacles. Discussion of the findings centers on implications for research and policy to further the goal of successfully prosecuting occupational offenders in criminal courts. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2020