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Theses and Dissertations

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Full-Text Articles in Criminology

Physical Environment And Crime In Milwaukee Neighborhoods, Jenna Nitkowski Aug 2017

Physical Environment And Crime In Milwaukee Neighborhoods, Jenna Nitkowski

Theses and Dissertations

Neighborhood physical condition and crime is a topic that has been heavily debated since Wilson and Kelling’s (1982) famous broken windows theory article. While previous research has identified a positive link between disorder, certain land uses, and crime, the direction and magnitude of the effect may vary depending on neighborhood characteristics such as socioeconomic status (Teh, 2008; Greenberg et al., 1982) or ability of residents to exert informal social control (Gault & Silver, 2008; Sampson & Raudenbush, 1999). The following study uses data from Milwaukee census tracts (N=210) and maximum likelihood estimation to test the effect of neighborhood physical condition variables on ...


White Power In Context: The Structural Correlates Of White Power Support Events In The United States, 2012-2015, Drew Cormac Medaris May 2017

White Power In Context: The Structural Correlates Of White Power Support Events In The United States, 2012-2015, Drew Cormac Medaris

Theses and Dissertations

Much of the prior research on white power groups focuses on very rare outcomes – criminal events, especially violent ones – without as much attention devoted to the more common or fundamental activities that often work to start the mobilization process for ethnocentric groups and the individuals associated with them. Broadly, the goal of the current study is to fill this gap in knowledge by integrating prominent criminological theories and themes drawn from the Social movement literature in order to explore the geographic distribution and macro-level correlates of ideologically-motivated white power movement activities. Specifically, I implement content analysis techniques of open source ...


Where We Get Our News: A Multilevel Analysis Of The Media Framing Of Immigration And Crime, Cody Robert Tuttle May 2017

Where We Get Our News: A Multilevel Analysis Of The Media Framing Of Immigration And Crime, Cody Robert Tuttle

Theses and Dissertations

Despite an abundance of literature demonstrating that immigration and crime are unassociated, public opinion often reflects the contrary. I examine a source that could contribute to this disconnect between research and public opinion – media framing – particularly, how the specific way that news outlets talk about immigration and crime, along with where they are located geographically, influence how prominently these stories are covered. I employ content analysis of newspaper articles from 2008-2012, which I geo-locate and pair with structural covariates gathered from several other data sources. I use multilevel models to analyze the effect of article-level framing and county-level contextual characteristics ...


Isis In America: A Sociohistorical Analysis, Kathryn Joanne Ratcliff May 2017

Isis In America: A Sociohistorical Analysis, Kathryn Joanne Ratcliff

Theses and Dissertations

During the summer of 2014, the terrorist organization Islamic State (commonly referred to as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS) garnered international attention after its unprecedented territorial acquisitions and violence in the Middle East. Today, ISIS vies with al-Qaeda for leadership of the global Islamic Extremist movement and has extended its violence all over the world, including the United States. U.S. based supporters generally choose to engage with the ideology in one of three categories: as a foreign fighter, domestic plotter, or domestic non-plotter. Despite this threat, there is very little quantitative research concerning U.S. ISIS ...


An Analysis Of Material Support Of Terrorism And Violent Plots: Scale And Success, Ian David Brecht May 2017

An Analysis Of Material Support Of Terrorism And Violent Plots: Scale And Success, Ian David Brecht

Theses and Dissertations

Following the attacks on September 11, 2001, material support of terrorism charges have served as a cornerstone in the U.S. Government’s fight against terrorism. However, empirical research looking at the usage of material support charges is lacking. The primary focus of this study is to determine if material support charges are related to increases in terrorist attack success and scale. Using the American Terrorism Study (ATS), 177 post-9/11 Islamic Extremist-linked court cases including material support charges and 140 terrorist incidents were coded and analyzed using chi-square, logistical regression, and linear regression models. Results revealed that material support ...


“Good Guys Do Rape”: An Examination Of College Student Perceptions Of Sexual Assault Perpetrators, Taylor Blythe Martinez May 2017

“Good Guys Do Rape”: An Examination Of College Student Perceptions Of Sexual Assault Perpetrators, Taylor Blythe Martinez

Theses and Dissertations

When people think of a typical sexual assault, they rely heavily on preconceived notions of sexual violence, which often represents stereotypical rape scenarios. Many stereotypical depictions of perpetrators tend to be centered around individuals who are strangers, mentally ill, lonely, with poor or impoverished upbringing. How perpetrators and victims are depicted impact the likelihood of others believing victims and attributing guilt to perpetrators. This may contribute to societal endorsement of acquaintance rape as not real compared to stereotypical rape scenarios. The current study examines how college students, and in particular fraternity men and sorority women, view perpetrators of sexual assault ...


Veterinarians And Their Perception Of The Treatment Of Animal Abuse Cases In The Criminal Justice System, Dustin A. Richardson Mar 2017

Veterinarians And Their Perception Of The Treatment Of Animal Abuse Cases In The Criminal Justice System, Dustin A. Richardson

Theses and Dissertations

Americans love their companion animals. In 2015, nearly two-thirds (65%) of all households in the U.S. housed at least one pet (APPA, n.d.). This love does not translate to policy, however, as many animals are left defenseless. Interestingly, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (2016) has ranked Illinois’ animal protection laws as the strongest in the nation for the last eight years. Extant animal abuse research is almost exclusively concerned with the ramifications that the abuse has for humans, and there is a dearth of social science research that examines veterinarians and the criminal justice system. Extremely limited research ...


An Examination Of The Evolution Of Racially Biased Pretextual Investigatory Stops And Their Legitimacy In Policing, Brett A. Lacey Mar 2017

An Examination Of The Evolution Of Racially Biased Pretextual Investigatory Stops And Their Legitimacy In Policing, Brett A. Lacey

Theses and Dissertations

This thesis examines the use of tactics originally purposed as a component of the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Operation Pipeline and their evolution since their creation in the 1980’s. The paper provides a history of investigatory policing stops regarding the argument of Epp et al. (2014) that primarily relied on Police Chief magazine and Remsberg’s Street Survival. Epp argues that the methods used in investigatory stops are an invasion of privacy, use racial profiling, and have proliferated from a tactic used in the war on drugs to combat drug trafficking to a routine day-to-day policing tactic. Through the ...


The Impact Of Employment On Probationer Recidivism, Clayton T. Cottle Mar 2017

The Impact Of Employment On Probationer Recidivism, Clayton T. Cottle

Theses and Dissertations

There is increasing need to understand and improve rates of recidivism in all fields associated with the Criminal Justice system. This research investigated the influence that employment status and job stability have on probationer recidivism. For this project, recidivism is defined as any arrest within four years after the termination of probation. Results from this study indicate that obtaining and sustaining employment can reduce the likelihood of recidivism in probationers. Additionally, the findings suggest that job stability is indicative of increased desistance. Findings from this study lend support to the notion that there is an employment-crime relationship. The findings of ...


Death And Destruction: Insight Into The Rhino Poaching Epidemic In South Africa, Richard Wayne Charlton Feb 2017

Death And Destruction: Insight Into The Rhino Poaching Epidemic In South Africa, Richard Wayne Charlton

Theses and Dissertations

The poaching of wildlife has been a concern to many involved in the protection of wildlife. Poaching is found throughout the world and has been around for thousands of years. In the past century, poaching has reached new heights and the concern of an extinction of a species has bought the topic of poaching to new light. Whilst poaching has been seen as a biological or conservation topic in the past, criminologists around the world have now started to delve into the topic. The poaching of wildlife and more so in recent years, rhino poaching, has been a concern in ...


An Empirical Analysis Of The Relationship Among Social Institutions And Juvenile Arrests In Virginia, Linh Thi T. Nguyen Jan 2017

An Empirical Analysis Of The Relationship Among Social Institutions And Juvenile Arrests In Virginia, Linh Thi T. Nguyen

Theses and Dissertations

The United States has unusually high rates of violence among developed nations, including the victimization of and perpetration by youth. Using Institutional Anomie Theory (IAT) as the theoretical framework, this study analyzes the relationships between social institutions and crime and the interactive relationships among the institutions in a sample of Virginia localities. Multivariate analyses are conducted to produce additive and multiplicative models, and simple slope analyses are conducted to clarify interaction/moderation effects. Findings yield mixed support for IAT. Localities with higher levels of monthly welfare per recipient (a measure of polity) have lower juvenile violent crime arrest rates, and ...


Assessing The Implementation Of Campus Safety Policies In Virginia Community Colleges: An Analysis Of The Forces At Play In Higher Education Institutional-Level Policymaking, Steven T. Keener Jan 2017

Assessing The Implementation Of Campus Safety Policies In Virginia Community Colleges: An Analysis Of The Forces At Play In Higher Education Institutional-Level Policymaking, Steven T. Keener

Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to assess the extent to which community colleges have implemented major post-Virginia Tech campus safety recommendations. In addition to gaining a comprehensive overview of the safety policies and practices in place, this study assessed if campus safety policy implementation levels at the community colleges correlated with institutional characteristics, and the internal and external forces that helped drive the implementation of these policies. Focusing specifically upon the Virginia Community College System, data on the policies and practices in place at each of the 23 Virginia community colleges were collected from institutional websites and through follow-up ...


Fitting Eyewitness Identification And Confidence To A Diffusion Model Of Processing, Brittany Nicole Race Dec 2016

Fitting Eyewitness Identification And Confidence To A Diffusion Model Of Processing, Brittany Nicole Race

Theses and Dissertations

It is necessary to better serve justice to understand the mechanisms behind eyewitness identification and reports of confidence. The material contained within attempt to fit eyewitness identification to a diffusion model of processing, RTCON (Ratcliff & Starns, 2009). Participants saw eight mock crime videos and were then tasked with using eight showups or eight lineups to identify the suspects within the video. Half of the presentations were target present and half were target absent. Additionally, participants were either presented with biased or unbiased instructions. Strangely, unbiased lineups led to higher hit rates which is contrary to most findings in the field. The key elements were comparing the ROC curves of the collected data with the ROC curves of simulated data from the RTCON model. The variables manipulated in the model included mu, a variable of memory strength; confidence criteria, a variable of response bias; and decision criteria, a second variable of response bias. The ROC curves derived from the simulated data were poor matches to the collected data. This finding leads to questions on the applicability of this model of diffusion processing to eyewitness research.


Black Male Emerging Adults: Investigating Inequalities In Adult Transitions, Social Learning, And Criminality, De Andre' Terrell Beadle Aug 2016

Black Male Emerging Adults: Investigating Inequalities In Adult Transitions, Social Learning, And Criminality, De Andre' Terrell Beadle

Theses and Dissertations

Emerging adulthood is a life stage that developed as a result of numerous macro-structural changes in recent decades (Arnett 2015), and which has implications for life course criminality and identity formation (Massoglia & Uggen 2010). Much research has been done in the area of the new life stage known as “emerging adulthood,” however little to no research has been done on how emerging adulthood relates to or changes classic findings in criminology, especially about the importance of disadvantages embedded in racial inequalities. This mixed method study analyzes data from the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR) to examine Social learning ...


Does Gender Still Matter? Child Custody Bias In The Illinois Family Court System, Derek K. Ronnfeldt Jul 2016

Does Gender Still Matter? Child Custody Bias In The Illinois Family Court System, Derek K. Ronnfeldt

Theses and Dissertations

Over the last several decades, nearly all of the states have formed task forces to look at the perception of a gender bias within the family court systems as they pertain to child custody. This self-scrutiny has included the attitudes of judges and attorneys within the system and the need of reform of our family courts. This research focused on replicating a study conducted by Dotterweich and McKinney that was completed in 2000 that compiled statistics from four different state task forces in Maryland, Missouri, Texas, and Washington. This research focused on Illinois judges and attorneys, using the same questions ...


A Quantitative Analysis Of Sex Trafficking Law On The Decriminalization Of Youth Involved In Commercialized Sex, Nay Petrucelli Jun 2016

A Quantitative Analysis Of Sex Trafficking Law On The Decriminalization Of Youth Involved In Commercialized Sex, Nay Petrucelli

Theses and Dissertations

Legislators have been responding to the growing push to treat youth in the sex industry as victims of a crime instead of perpetrators. Recent legislative changes have occurred in every state and nationally as part of anti-trafficking legislation, not prostitution law directly. While the content of these laws has been studied, its outcomes for youth have not. This study uses a cross-sectional time-series model to test the impact that changes to state trafficking law has had on juvenile prostitution arrest rates. Findings support the hypothesis that legislation passed with a juvenile protection component decreases the juvenile prostitution arrest rate. It ...


Predictors Of Decision-Making And Well-Being Among Victims Of Sexual Assault, Allishia Michelle Walton May 2016

Predictors Of Decision-Making And Well-Being Among Victims Of Sexual Assault, Allishia Michelle Walton

Theses and Dissertations

After sexual assaults, victims face many decisions regarding disclosure and reporting. Most research identifying risk factors for poor health among sexual assault victims, including assault typology, prior victimization, and substance use, does little to contextualize decision-making and reflective framing among sexual assault victims. Yet the real or perceived reactions of friends, family, and law enforcement can have a lot to do with how victims come to view their decisions in hindsight. The concordance between their decisions immediately following the assault and the decisions they wish they had made in retrospect can have substantial implications for mental health and well-being. Using ...


An Analysis Of The Sovereign Citizen Movement: Demographics And Trial Behaviors, Stephen Garrett Smith May 2016

An Analysis Of The Sovereign Citizen Movement: Demographics And Trial Behaviors, Stephen Garrett Smith

Theses and Dissertations

To date little to no empirical research has been conducted on the Sovereign Citizen Movement (SCM) and how it fits into the broader far-right domestic terrorist movement. The main focus of this study is to determine if there is a significant difference between the SCM and the far-right in their demographic composition, trial strategies, and trial behaviors and whether the SCM should be grouped together with the broader far-right during analysis. Using the American Terrorism Study (ATS), I coded 97 federal court cases involving sovereign citizen defendants (N=150) and ran basic frequencies on demographic and trial behavior variables on ...


Do Parole Revocations Contribute To Racial Disproportionality In Imprisonment? A Multilevel Analysis Of State Prison Admissions From 1990-2009, Caitlin Curry May 2016

Do Parole Revocations Contribute To Racial Disproportionality In Imprisonment? A Multilevel Analysis Of State Prison Admissions From 1990-2009, Caitlin Curry

Theses and Dissertations

Scholars have sought to understand the problem of racial disproportionality in U.S. imprisonment rates for over four decades, but current research has yet to identify the specific correctional mechanisms that exacerbate racial differences in incarceration (Garland, 2013). The rate of parole revocations increased markedly in the 1990s and 2000s, contributing to the growth in imprisonment in the US. Likewise, some research also finds that the likelihood of parole revocation varies by race, but we know little about the effect of parole revocations on imprisonment disparity (Huebner and Bynum, 2008). This study uses a sample of 24 states over a ...


Collateral Impact Of Maternal Incarceration: Burdens Placed On Child Caregivers, Daniel Anderson Mar 2016

Collateral Impact Of Maternal Incarceration: Burdens Placed On Child Caregivers, Daniel Anderson

Theses and Dissertations

Although parental incarceration is both a maternal and paternal issue, it is particularly detrimental to the family when the mother is incarcerated. The number of children with a mother in prison has more than doubled since 1991 (Glaze & Maruschak, 2008). Although there are more children of incarcerated fathers than mothers, it is particularly important to note that sixty-four percent of mothers were the primary caregivers to their children at their time of arrest (Glaze & Maruschak, 2008; Mumola, 2000). The incarceration of a mother is often more detrimental than that of the father as it typically results in displacement of children from the home and more complex issues related to the detachment from the parent (Bloom, 1993). With only 1 in 4 children of incarcerated mothers moving in with their fathers, the incarcerated mother must often find a suitable ...


The Role Of Official Misconduct In Wrongful Convictions, Mia Gilliam Mar 2016

The Role Of Official Misconduct In Wrongful Convictions, Mia Gilliam

Theses and Dissertations

As the number of wrongful convictions and exonerations of individuals imprisoned for crimes they did not commit has increased dramatically, the study of wrongful conviction has become increasingly important. The majority of past research has focused on the various causes of wrongful convictions. However, very little attention is given in detail to the specific nature of each of these causes. This thesis examined the most current, inclusive database of exonerations in the United States that exists, the National Registry of Exonerations. Qualitative and Quantitative data was examined and refined, and statistical analyses were run including descriptives, frequencies, and correlations in ...


The Role Of The Institution On The Adoption Of Law Enforcement Technology, Cassandra Dodge Mar 2016

The Role Of The Institution On The Adoption Of Law Enforcement Technology, Cassandra Dodge

Theses and Dissertations

While law enforcement agencies perceive that technology increases their ability to complete their mission in the most efficient manner possible, this may not be the case in reality. Considering the potential expenses, potential danger, and lack of proven efficiency, it is surprising that these technologies are continuing to be adopted. Observing law enforcement agencies through the lens of institutional theory provides an explanation for the discrepancy between what would be expected and what has actually occurred. The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine the use of five technologies (records management systems, broadband networking with vehicle computers, long range ...


Terrorism Preparedness: A Law Enforcement Perspective, Cayla Comens Mar 2016

Terrorism Preparedness: A Law Enforcement Perspective, Cayla Comens

Theses and Dissertations

Since September 11, 2001, the environments in which law enforcement agencies operate have been changing. Contingency theory hypothesizes that an organization adapts to their environment through organizational structure and contingencies in order to accomplish a state of fit or higher performance. Utilizing the contingency theory framework, the study looked to answer two research questions: (1) Do municipal and county police agencies believe they have the necessary resources and training to prevent and or respond to the next terrorist attack? (2) How does agency size, structure, funding, and perceived risk influence terrorism preparedness? A sample of 902 county and municipal law ...


Token Female Police Officers Or Police Exemplars: An Evaluation Of The Theory Of Tokenism, Cameron Michael Harper Mar 2016

Token Female Police Officers Or Police Exemplars: An Evaluation Of The Theory Of Tokenism, Cameron Michael Harper

Theses and Dissertations

Despite gains in the percentage of female police officers over past decades, female police officers are vastly underrepresented in modern policing. Female police officers face barriers to integration into policing and the surrounding culture that male police officers do not face, including unbalanced physical testing, double standards for success, and others. One explanation for the different experiences of female police officers compared to male police officers is the token status of women in policing. Instead of taking the token status of female police officers for granted, this study explored the utility of the theory of tokenism (Kanter, 1977) in explaining ...


Policing And The Likelihood Of Terrorism: A Community Structural Approach To An Uncertain Relationship, Andy Bellamy Brooks May 2015

Policing And The Likelihood Of Terrorism: A Community Structural Approach To An Uncertain Relationship, Andy Bellamy Brooks

Theses and Dissertations

Prior research on terrorism has argued that local law enforcement play an important role in counterterrorism though the mechanisms by which the police should prevent terrorism are empirically unsettled and atheoretical in nature. Even less understood is how policing might differentially impact terrorism across specific ideological movements (e.g., far-right, environmental, Islamic extremism). Drawing from prominent sociological and criminological theories (i.e., Environmental perspectives, Social Disorganization, Conflict/Marxist) the current study addresses several key gaps in prior literature by utilizing data from the American Terrorism Study (ATS) paired with data from the FBI Uniform Crime Report and U.S. Census ...


Opportunity, Temporal Patterns, And Successful Outcomes Of Far-Right Terrorism Incidents In The United States, Brent Ryan Klein May 2015

Opportunity, Temporal Patterns, And Successful Outcomes Of Far-Right Terrorism Incidents In The United States, Brent Ryan Klein

Theses and Dissertations

This thesis examines the impact that far-right terrorism opportunity structures and temporal patterns of precursor activity have on incident outcomes. Data from the American Terrorism Study (ATS) are extracted for several attributes of far-right opportunity, in addition to measures for temporal patterns of planning and preparatory behaviors. Bivariate and multivariate findings generally support expectations that target attractiveness and vulnerability, far-right group structures, and patterns of precursor activity are significantly associated with incident outcomes. The paper concludes with suggestions for future research and several implications for homeland security policy.


Framing Responsibility For Bullying: An Ethnographic Content Analysis, Kayla Knight May 2015

Framing Responsibility For Bullying: An Ethnographic Content Analysis, Kayla Knight

Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of the current study is to explore ways in which American print news media frame responsibility for adolescent and teen bullying. More specifically, how media portray responsibility for the underlying causes and consequences of bullying, as well as for responding to bullying, are examined. Drawing from media studies and the construction of Social problems literature, the study is guided by two broad research questions, 1) How do American news media frame responsibility for bullying? and 2) What news sources, or "claims-makers," are selected as authorities on bullying in news media articles? Articles published between 2009 and 2013 are ...


Human Intelligence In Federal Terrorism Cases, Noah James Schneider May 2015

Human Intelligence In Federal Terrorism Cases, Noah James Schneider

Theses and Dissertations

Though it has often been quipped that the September 11th attacks changed "everything", domestic policy alterations were among the most significant changes after 9/11. Specifically, the 2002 Ashcroft Attorney General Guidelines and the 2008 Mukasey Attorney General Guidelines were two of the most impactful policy changes following 9/11. These Attorney General Guidelines changed the way the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigated terrorism in the United States in addition to making counterterrorism the FBI's top priority. One of the ways the FBI prevents terrorism is through the use of undercover agents and confidential informants. How the 2002 ...


Concentrated Disadvantage And Coercive Mobility: A Longitudinal Analysis Of The Impact Of Coercive Mobility, Megan Nicole Handley May 2015

Concentrated Disadvantage And Coercive Mobility: A Longitudinal Analysis Of The Impact Of Coercive Mobility, Megan Nicole Handley

Theses and Dissertations

This study examines the impact of incarceration, or coercive mobility, on concentrated disadvantage, testing an essential component of the theoretical model proposed by Todd Clear and Dina Rose (1998) and elaborated by Clear (2007). These authors argue that while concentrated economic disadvantage may lead to high crime rates, chronically high rates of incarceration may operate as a type of "coercive mobility," exacerbating concentrated disadvantage and increasing crime rates, especially in high-minority urban communities. The study also examines the importance of religious congregations, as a measure of community Social capital, which may moderate the relationship between coercive mobility and concentrated disadvantage ...


Explaining Bias Homicide Occurrences In The United States, Kayla Gruenewald May 2015

Explaining Bias Homicide Occurrences In The United States, Kayla Gruenewald

Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationships between Social-structural characteristics and bias homicide across counties in the United States between the years 1990 and 2014. While there have been several notable studies on this topic, most have been conducted in single cities or at the state level, thus overlooking variations across community types for the broader United States. Moreover, scholars have failed to distinguish violent from non-violent bias crimes in their research. Drawing from several ecological theories of crime, this study seeks to contribute to the literature by asking (1) what are the structural predictors of the ...