Image of Professor Henry Pontell, John Jay College
Dr. Henry Pontell Receives Two Awards from American Society of Criminology

Distinguished Professor Henry Pontell was honored with two awards from the American Society of Criminology Division of White-Collar & Corporate Crime: the 2023 Outstanding Book Award for Wayward Dragon: White-Collar and Corporate Crime in China (Springer, 2022), with Adam Ghazi-Tehrani from the University of Alabama, and the 2023 Outstanding Article Award for “In-Your-Face Watergate: Neutralizing Government Lawbreaking and the War Against White-Collar Crime” in Crime, Law and Social Change (2021), with Robert Tillman from St. John’s University and Adam Ghazi-Tehrani from the University of Alabama.

Wayward Dragon provides a comparative criminological analysis of white-collar and corporate crime in China that considers current and future impacts of such lawbreaking on the country, neighboring regions and the world. The book examines the effects of China’s political changes, economic reforms and resulting degradation of norms on lawbreaking through in-depth case histories involving environmental pollution, financial fraud, crime against consumers, government crime, medical fraud, corporate crime, institutional corruption, securities fraud, corruption of government officials and unsafe products. International reviewers characterized it as “brilliant,” “ground-breaking,” “unique,” “a major contribution,” “thorough and engaging,” “an important scholarly work” and “book of the year.” 

The article “In-Your-Face Watergate” examines major events in the Trump presidency that preceded January 6th through the lens of white-collar criminology and sociological theories of deviance neutralization. Already cited numerous times in books, articles and chapters, the journal’s Altmetric shows that it was one of the most widely cited articles in social media from 2021–2022. Reviewers described it as " a devastating indictment," "a brilliant article,” “ very useful for anyone in the sociology of deviance and criminology generally” and “a powerful and important piece of top-quality scholarship whose subject matter has direct implications far beyond its central explanatory framework of white-collar criminality.”

Pontell also recently won the 2023 Bruce Smith, Sr. Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. He is a member of the John Jay Department of Sociology and professor emeritus at the University of California, Irvine. Pontell served as vice president of the American Society of Criminology and president of the Western Society of Criminology. He is a fellow of both organizations.