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- The Academic Steroid: Nonmedical Use of Prescription Stimulants at a North Texas University
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The goal of this study was to determine the extent, motivations, and justifications of nonmedical prescription stimulant use among the population at a large public university in the North Texas region. Participants consisted of 526 undergraduate students enrolled at the studied university during the spring and summer 2014 semesters. The findings of the study suggest that the nonmedical use by students was higher than the findings in much of the current literature, but was within the parameters established in the literature. The primary motivation for nonmedical use was academic in nature and was justified by moderation of nonmedical use to strategic academic times.
- Evaluation of Program Effectiveness: a Look at the Bedford Police Department’s Strategy Towards Repeat Victimization in Domestic Violence and Mental Health
- The primary goal of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a program being run by the Bedford Police Department’s Repeat Victimization Unit on domestic violence and mental health and mental retardation. The study sought to determine whether the program was effective in reducing instances of repeat victimization in domestic violence and MHMR victims. Additionally the program investigated whether or not the program was effective at reducing victimization severity, and which demographic could be identified as the most victimized. Participants consisted of 157 domestic violence and MHMR victims in the city of Bedford, Tx between November 11, 2012 to July 30, 2013. Findings indicate that levels of repeat victimization for domestic violence and MHMR are relatively low regardless of whether the victim received services through the repeat victimization program or not. Additionally the severity of these repeat victimizations remains relatively constant regardless of whether services were received through the program or not. Implications and findings are discussed.
- Homeland Security Roles and Responsibilities: an Examination of Texas Police Chiefs’ Perceptions
- Research has shown that the police industry has entered into an era of homeland security. However, whether the core functions of policing have significantly changed since September 11, 2001, has been the topic of considerable debate. Using secondary data, the research identifies variables that are most influential in predicting whether Texas police chiefs understand their departments’ homeland security roles and responsibilities. The data was originally obtained in 2007 through self-administered surveys of police chiefs attending the Texas Chief Leadership Series (TPCLS) and the New Chief Development Program (NCDP).
- Island Empire: the Influence of the Maceo Family in Galveston
- From the 1920s until the 1950s, brothers, Sam and Rosario Maceo, ran an influential crime family in Galveston, Texas. The brothers’ success was largely due to Galveston’s transient population, the turbulent history of the island, and the resulting economic decline experienced at the turn of the 20th century. Their success began during Prohibition, when they opened their first club. The establishment offered bootlegged liquor, fine dining, and first class entertainment. After Prohibition, the brothers continued to build an empire on the island through similar clubs, without much opposition from the locals. However, after being suspected of involvement in a drug smuggling ring, the Maceos were placed under scrutiny from outside law enforcement agencies. Through persistent investigations, the Texas Rangers finally shut down the rackets in Galveston in 1957. Despite their influence through the first half of the 20th century, on the island and off the island, their story is largely missing from the current literature.
- "It's Technical": Exploring the Determinents to Technical Probation Revocations Among Felony Probationers
- Within the United States, probation has customarily been used as a way to divert offenders away from prison. Over the past two decades the number of offenders who are sentenced to probation has increased tremendously. While there have been more offenders sentenced to probation, there has also been an increase in the number of probationers having that sentence revoked. The most prevalent type of revocation is a technical revocation. Probationers receive technical violations culminating in a revocation when they fail to satisfy the conditions of their probation sentence such as attending rehabilitative programming. The present study adds to the literature on technical revocations by examining characteristics of felony probationers from a large Southern state who were revoked between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009. Findings revealed that female probationers, older probationers, white probationers, and those probationers who had not completed high school were significantly more likely to be revoked for a technical revocation. Implications for practice and suggestions for future research based on these findings are discussed.
- Life without Parole for Juvenile Offenders: Questions of Legality and Adolescent Culpability
- Life without parole for juvenile offenders is a controversial issue across the globe. Recently, the United States stands alone as the only country in the world that allows juvenile offenders to be sentenced to life time confinement without the possibility of parole. Furthermore, the U.S. has seen an increase in juvenile waivers and blended sentences, which has resulted in harsher penalties for juvenile offenders who have committed serious and violent crimes. This analysis examines scientific evidence that shows juveniles are different from adults in terms of brain development, rational decision making abilities, and maturity levels. These findings have questioned the reasoning behind imposing adult punishment on adolescent behavior. This analysis also presents the legal arguments suggesting that juvenile life without parole is unconstitutional and violates the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Arguments for and against life sentences were also presented. This study concludes with a discussion of policy implications, whether the U.S. Supreme Court should abolish juvenile life without parole sentencing practices and explores the possible future direction of juvenile sentencing in the United States.
- Recidivism Among Determinately Sentenced Youth in Texas
- In Texas, determinate sentencing allows extremely serious and violent delinquents one more chance to change their ways by releasing them to the streets instead of being transferred to prison. This research study examined the recidivism outcomes of 416 serious and violent juvenile offenders previously exposed to rehabilitative treatment in the renowned Capital and Serious Violent Offender Treatment Program provided by the Texas Youth Commission. Further, this research study looked to a group of 1,261 determinately sentenced offenders who did not participate in Capital and Serious Violent Offender Treatment Program but were released from Texas Youth Commission as well. Both groups of juveniles were followed for three years following their release from institutionalization. This analysis revealed that 50% of both groups were rearrested at least once during the follow-up period for any offense. Of the Capital and Serious Violent Offender Program participants, 81% were rearrested for at least one new felony offense. Of those non-participants, 78% were rearrested for at least one new felony offense. The factors that served to distinguish both groups included African-American race and a number of delinquent history measures. This study concludes with a discussion of policy implications and suggestions for future research.
- Recidivism Among Juvenile Sex Offenders in Texas
- Juvenile sex offenders represent a serious and violent group of delinquents. Despite the severity of their crimes, the literature focusing on risk factors that influence recidivism and the types of re-arrest after incarceration is lacking. This research study examined 499 determinately sentenced juvenile sex offenders that were released from the Texas Juvenile Justice Department. This sample was then followed for three years upon their release. This analysis revealed that 51.5 percent were re-arrested for any offense while 45.91 percent were re-arrested for a felony offense. This study identified a number of risk factors relative to JSO recidivism. These factors include having a history of emotional abuse, race being African American, being gang affiliated, having a larger number of previous adjudications, and having higher counts of institutional misconduct infractions. Those JSOs older at intake and release, and those who were incarcerated for longer periods of time were less likely to re-offend upon release. Lastly, this study ends with suggestions for future research as well as policy implications geared toward juvenile sex offenders.
- Responding to Child Sexual Abuse: Exploring the Case Files of Children Under the Age of 6 Admitted to a Children’s Advocacy Center for Evaluation
- Research suggests that roughly 25% of women and 10% of men within the United States were sexually abused at some point during childhood. With such high rates of victimization affecting society, the current study explores a population of children under the age of 6 who were suspected of being sexually victimized and thus admitted to a children’s advocacy center (CAC) for evaluation. This investigation contributes to the literature concerning child sexual abuse (CSA) by exploring the characteristics of these alleged victims, the characteristics of their suspected offenders, the alleged victim’s familial demographics characteristics, and by looking at the data pertaining to the incarceration rates of the suspected offenders identified within the sample.
- The Sex Offender Registry in Collin County, Texas: a Descriptive Analysis of Sex Offenders
- The primary goal of this study was to analyze the characteristics of current registered sex offenders in Collin County, Texas, as well as to compare age and gender of the victims of these offenders in order to know who sex offenders primarily target in these crimes. The study also sought to discover geographic patterns of where the registered sex offenders reside for the purpose of keeping communities aware. Participants consisted of 175 registered sex offenders (N = 175) in Collin County, Texas, found on Collin County's and the Texas Department of Public Safety's online public registries. The findings demonstrate that there were significant trends among the sex offenders, their victims, location of residence, and housing complications as a result of progressing sex offender laws. Treatment programs and the reintegration of offenders in the community were also addressed. The meaning of the results in this study can aid in the development of safety and prevention strategies, provide an understanding about the utilization of sex offender registries, and can benefit law enforcement to predict the movement of current sex offenders, along with knowing where to find other potential offenders.
- Synthetic Cannabinoid Usage among College Students: The Example of K2 and Spice
- The primary goal of this study was to investigate the awareness and prevalence of Spice and K2 usage among a population of college students, as well as the demographics of such users. The study also sought to determine whether or not students prefer these products over natural cannabis, in addition to examining the most popular methods of obtainment and the most commonly reported side effects of K2 and Spice usage. Participants consisted of 643 undergraduate students enrolled at the University of North Texas during the fall 2011 semester. Findings indicate that while students exhibit a relatively high awareness of K2 and Spice, usage of these products is not a prevalent occurrence. Implications of the findings are discussed.
- Ten Years After 9/11: the Structure and Use of Intelligence Units in Local Policing
- The events of September 11, 2001 marked a paradigm shift in the strategy within all levels of law enforcement in the United States. Intelligence became the watchword of the day and with it, the movement to incorporate strategic and tactical information in daily policing. Yet while the philosophy was clear, the method and manner to which agencies were left to achieve these goals was much less designed. The federal government allocated funds to assist help agencies incorporate an intelligence function in their daily operations but which agencies and to what degree remains unclear even today. This study seeks to determine the current state of use of intelligence in municipal law enforcement agencies in the State of Texas ten years after 9/11. Through use of a survey, it assesses the frequency of use of intelligence units in local police departments in the State of Texas, identifies commonalities in their structure, and determines the state of their effectiveness.
- Violent Female Offending: Examining the Role of Psychopathy and Comorbidity with DSM-IV Personality Disorders
- This thesis examines the role of psychopathy in violent female offending, and explores DSM-IV personality disorders that may also be a factor. Past research on female offenders and psychopathy suggest that this is a valid construct when looking at female offenders. This study was driven by two questions: which personality disorders are most common in adult female offenders who are psychopathic, and are adult female offenders who are psychopathic more likely to have been convicted of a violent offense than those who are not psychopathic, but have at least one personality disorder. The results indicate that Cluster B personality disorders were the most common, and Cluster C the least common. The results also showed that those women who were psychopathic were no more likely to have been convicted of a violent crime than those who had at least one personality disorder, but were not psychopathic. Treatment implications and the direction of future research are discussed.