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  Access Rights: Public
  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Degree Discipline: Criminal Justice
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Is There Justice in Mercy?  the Retributive Philosophies of Executive Clemency

Is There Justice in Mercy? the Retributive Philosophies of Executive Clemency

Date: May 2013
Creator: Gibbs, Gina N.
Description: Executive clemency is assumed to be a mechanism to correct miscarriages of justice brought about by the criminal justice system, yet little empirical research exists to confirm this assumption. This research study examined the types of rationales cited in 799 cases of executive clemency from six states from 2005 to 2012. Rationales based upon retributive philosophies, in which a miscarriage of justice was cited, were further analyzed. This analysis revealed that only seven percent of all clemency decisions from the examined states cited retributive rationales. Of the fifty-six grants of clemency that cited retributive rationales, most were granted in the forms of pardons. The analysis indicated that executive clemency is utilized as a mechanism to correct injustices, specifically in cases of innocence. This study concludes with a discussion of policy implications and the reliance on executive clemency as a fail-safe to the criminal justice system.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Recidivism Among Juvenile Sex Offenders in Texas

Recidivism Among Juvenile Sex Offenders in Texas

Date: May 2013
Creator: Martinez, Crystal G.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
The Sex Offender Registry in Collin County, Texas: a Descriptive Analysis of Sex Offenders

The Sex Offender Registry in Collin County, Texas: a Descriptive Analysis of Sex Offenders

Date: December 2012
Creator: Valenzuela, Priscilla
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Homeland Security Roles and Responsibilities: an Examination of Texas Police Chiefs’ Perceptions

Homeland Security Roles and Responsibilities: an Examination of Texas Police Chiefs’ Perceptions

Date: August 2012
Creator: Thimamontri, Apinya
Description: 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).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
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

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

Date: August 2011
Creator: Glassner, Steven
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Synthetic Cannabinoid Usage among College Students: The Example of K2 and Spice

Synthetic Cannabinoid Usage among College Students: The Example of K2 and Spice

Date: August 2011
Creator: Stephens, Jason L.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
"It's Technical": Exploring the Determinents to Technical Probation Revocations Among Felony Probationers

"It's Technical": Exploring the Determinents to Technical Probation Revocations Among Felony Probationers

Date: May 2011
Creator: Dixon, Ashford Leon
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Life without Parole for Juvenile Offenders: Questions of Legality and Adolescent Culpability

Life without Parole for Juvenile Offenders: Questions of Legality and Adolescent Culpability

Date: August 2010
Creator: Corrington, David L.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Violent Female Offending: Examining the Role of Psychopathy and Comorbidity with DSM-IV Personality Disorders

Violent Female Offending: Examining the Role of Psychopathy and Comorbidity with DSM-IV Personality Disorders

Date: August 2010
Creator: Hilving, Rebecca
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Factors Contributing to the Three-Year Graduation Rate of Students in Technical Programs at an Urban Community College

Factors Contributing to the Three-Year Graduation Rate of Students in Technical Programs at an Urban Community College

Date: May 2009
Creator: Gantt, Aubra Jeanette
Description: With an increasingly technological and competitive world economy, more jobs require employees to have achieved the advanced skills and knowledge gained only through postsecondary education. The data regarding the supply and demand between the workforce and higher education present a challenge for community college technical programs. These are the programs charged training the new workforce. An effort to increase the persistence and three-year graduation rate for technical students is one of Tarrant County College District's initiatives to prepare students for the workforce. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine factors that contribute to the three-year graduation rates of students enrolled in technical programs at the Northwest Campus of the Tarrant County College District. A quantitative survey approach was selected for this study targeting 191 technical students. The results of this study showed that females, who had established a degree plan and declared a major during the first two semesters at the urban community college campus under study, graduated in three years. The graduation rates for males in this study were lower than for females. Also, technical students who were 18 to 35 years old were more likely to graduate. Students who did not complete a degree plan in ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
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