State-Corporate Crime and the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant

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Western Criminology Review, Vol: 8, Issue: 2

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Bruce, Alan S.; Becker, Paul J.
Western Society of Criminology; eCommons
State-corporate crime; Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant; Business Organizations Law; Commercial Law; Criminology; Environmental Law; Sociology
article description
While criminologists have for some time examined state and corporate crime as separate entities, the concept of state-corporate crime highlighting joint government and private corporate action causing criminal harm is a recent area of study with relatively few published case studies (Matthews and Kauzlarich, 2000). This paper focuses on state-corporate crime at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP) in Paducah, Kentucky, and contributes to the study of state-corporate crime in three ways: (1) it adds a new case study to a field in which there are few published accounts, (2) it assesses the utility of Kauzlarich and Kramer’s (1998) integrated theoretical framework of state-corporate crime by applying it to understanding harms at PGDP, and (3) it demonstrates how the state role in state-corporate crime can evolve from that of instigator to facilitator. PGDP is an especially important case study in the field of state-corporate crime because it constitutes a rare instance in which the federal government has both acknowledged and apologized for its role in harms caused to plant workers and the environment.