Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952514 | Print ISBN: 9780761927310 | Online ISBN: 9781412952514 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Celebrities in Prison
Stephen L. Muzzatti
With few exceptions, celebrities in the United States do not go to prison. Their wealth, power, and influence afford them many privileges, including the leniency of the criminal justice system. It is, therefore, worth examining the rare cases in which celebrities are incarcerated, to see why they received such unusual treatment. Celebrity by definition is a social construct that is usually shaped in large part by the media. People become celebrities because some aspect of their lives is thought to be newsworthy. Such figures typically include individuals who enjoy success in professional athletics, entertainment, politics, and business. Fame can also be a result of notoriety, as some of the subsequent sections will address. It should be noted that few women achieve celebrity status in prisons like men both because of the relative rarity of women in positions of power and influence in our patriarchal society, and because crime is largely ...