While sentencing guidelines has stimulated a fair bit of empirical work, much of it focuses on violent and drug crimes. In The Failure of the Organizational Sentencing Guidelines, Jennifer Arlen (NYU) explores the comparatively underdeveloped topic of sentencing guidelines' efficacy in the white-collar and corporate criminal context. The paper's title gives away Arlen's take. An excerpted abstract follows:
"In the U.S., corporate criminal sanctions for most firms convicted of federal crimes are determined by the Organizational Sentencing Guidelines, which were intended to encourage firms to adopt effective compliance programs, self-report and cooperate through the promise of a reduced fine for firms engaging in this desired conduct, in some circumstances. This Article evaluates whether the mitigation provisions of the Organizational Sentencing Guidelines are effective at achieving this goal. It shows that they are not because the Guidelines provide too little mitigation. Moreover, and perversely, the Guidelines are particularly ineffective when corporate detection and investigation is most important: in cases involving crimes committed by managers of large firms. The Sentencing Commission should reform the Guidelines to better encourage corporate monitoring, reporting and cooperation."