UNT Theses and Dissertations - 70 Matching Results

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

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.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Corrington, David L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Longitudinal Study of Juvenile Facility Directors' Job Satisfaction Levels in the United States

Description: This national study, focusing on job satisfaction within juvenile facility directors, was conducted by the means of a survey. The study is longitudinal in nature; the survey was conducted in 1995 and 2000. Other past studies have focused on line level employees, guards, and the juveniles, but few have concentrated on juvenile facility directors. Literature on directors is currently lacking, this continuous study will give a better ongoing perspective of their attitudes and beliefs. Findings from this particular study will help to address current concerns inside of the system, starting at the apex. The survey's goal is to correlate factors that have a direct impact on their job satisfaction. Results indicate that staff issues have a dramatic impact on a director's job satisfaction.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Skertich, Jonathan David
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Matter of Due Process: An Examination of How State Mandated Accreditation has Impacted Texas Crime Laboratories

Description: Mandated accreditation of crime laboratories is a fairly new phenomenon. The state of Texas was the first to require that crime laboratories be accredited in order to be able to present evidence in a criminal proceeding. The laws that govern this are Texas House Bill 2703 and Texas House Bill 1068. The goal of this study is see how the enactment of these laws impacted crime laboratories. There are 42 crime laboratories that are accredited in the state of Texas. This study was conducted by the use of telephone survey interviews. Results indicated that mandated accreditation is a step in the right direction to ensure that objectivity is maintained during the processing and evaluation of physical evidence.
Date: May 2008
Creator: DeLillo, Sandy Dawn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Measuring the Effects of the TYC Gainesville Resocialization Program on Juvenile Offender Resiliency Levels

Description: An analysis of the effects of resocialization programming on juvenile offender resiliency levels was conducted with 220 juveniles committed to a maximum security facility. Data were examined on the subjects' age, race/ethnicity, length of time at the facility, level of resocialization, and resiliency score. The resocialization programming contains cognitive and social components that would be instrumental in augmenting juvenile offender resiliency levels. Analysis of the variables did not show a significant increase in juvenile offender resiliency levels. The results did display that students who were at the facility longer and who were in the older age groups had higher levels of resocialization.
Date: December 2001
Creator: Kronvall, Veronica L
Partner: UNT Libraries

Media Influence on Executive Police Decision-Making: A Case Study of Police and Media Interaction During the Oklahoma City Bombing Investigation and Trials

Description: Because media influence public opinion, it is often surmised that media also influence the decisions of police executives. This exploratory case study examined the relationship between police and media during the Oklahoma City bombing investigation and subsequent trials of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. Findings indicate that media influence police executive decisions when police and media interact closely. It was found that during the Oklahoma City bombing investigation and trials, police on the outer perimeter were influenced most and police conducting the investigation or who were tasked to court room security were influenced the least. It was concluded, based on the consensus of respondents interviewed, that media do influence police executive decisions.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Bellew, Steven S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

New Organized Crime: Problems and Issues for Information Analysis

Description: This study illustrates the changing nature of organized crime at both national and international levels. Organized crime groups have changed in that they have entered the realm of high technology. In response this change, the use of new or modified analytical tools is suggested to enhance law enforcement efforts. This study highlights the problems of, and offers particular solutions for information analysis in its use in the fight against organized crime. Ultimately, it is argued that combined crime and intelligence analysis can be an effective and efficient method for the detection and prevention of modern organized crime.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Demirci, Suleyman
Partner: UNT Libraries

Online Pornography and Its Effects on the Behavior of College Students

Description: The primary goal of this study was to investigate the habits of college students who use pornography. The study was designed to collect data on the use of online pornography by college students. Through the use of an online survey, the study collected general demographic data and data on the frequency with which students used online pornography. The study also collected data on the general attitudes of college students towards online pornography. Participants consisted of students enrolled at the University of North Texas during the Spring 2016 semester. The participants of the study were contacted by an email requesting the student to respond to an online anonymous survey regarding their use of online pornography. The survey consisted of thirty questions and statements, primarily utilizing a five point Likert scale. Analysis of the data collected as well as a discussion of the findings are included.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Hassell, Michelle Stefanie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Police Officer Burnout: An Examination of Officer Stress, the Policing Subculture and the Advantages of Family Counseling

Description: The work of a police officer is stressful and could potentially lead to burnout. As a result, a variety of reactions may occur which include, cynicism, abuse of authority, and in extreme cases suicide. One method which has been proven to be effective in treating officer stress is counseling; however, because of the policing subculture the opportunity to seek counseling has been ignored. In order to successfully manage officer stress, the subculture must be dealt with. Additionally, the officers' family must also be acknowledged as being affected by officer burnout. Counseling services must be made available to the officer's family and through training they can become a source of support instead of an added source of stress to the officer.
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Date: December 2004
Creator: Yanez, Luiz
Partner: UNT Libraries

Political Misuse of Domestic Intelligence: A Case Study on the FBI

Description: Domestic intelligence is very important in preventing disorder while ensuring unity and security during a time of national crisis. However, if uncontrolled, domestic intelligence can be subject to political misuse, which causes serious damage both to individuals and to democratic institutions. There are various theoretical explanations for political misuse of domestic intelligence. The political use of domestic intelligence is best explained by the sociological theory of unfulfilled needs. On the other hand, political counterintelligence can be best explained by Threat Theory. In order for a domestic intelligence organization to be effective, its organizational discretion must be limited by establishing clear legislation that is not secret, on the focus, limits, and techniques of domestic intelligence. This system must be supported by a multi-level control mechanism.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Pacci, Mehme
Partner: UNT Libraries

Problem-oriented approach to criminal investigation: implementation issues and challenges

Description: As a proactive, information-based policing approach, problem-oriented policing emphasizes the use of crime analysis techniques in the analysis of the underlying causes of the problems that police deal with. In particular, analysis applications can be powerful tools for criminal investigation, such as crime reconstruction, profiling, IAFIS, VICAP, and CODIS. The SARA Model represents a problem-solving strategy of problemoriented policing. It aims to address the underlying causes of the problems and create substantial solutions. However, implementing problem-oriented policing requires a significant change in both the philosophy and structure of police agencies. Not only American policing but also the Turkish National Police should consider problem-oriented policing as an alternative approach for solving criminal activities.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Ozeren, Suleyman
Partner: UNT Libraries

Problems Encountered in Money Laundering Investigations

Description: The purpose of this study is to identify how the U.S. is responding to money laundering and what kind of problems arise while countering it, beginning with a detailed description of money laundering, its stages, typologies, impacts, and complications. Due to the broad nature of this subject only three main issues form the focal point of this study: problems concerning the banking industry and other financial organizations, problems resulting from the limitations of law enforcement agencies, and problems arising from the lack of cooperation between and within financial institutions and law enforcement agencies. Several probable solutions to the above problems are identified: Considering the financial industry, there are loopholes in the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and in other regulations that apply to the industry. Thus, there is a comparison of the Subjective Model vs. Objective Model in terms of reporting systems for financial organizations. On the law enforcement side, the priority is the need to update and upgrade their technology and investigation mechanisms in order not to fall behind the criminals. Finally, cooperation is something that can be achieved through mutual respect and understanding of the priorities of each side, which can be achieved by the creation of an upper agency of whose members represent both sides of the combat efforts.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Akyay, Ilkay
Partner: UNT Libraries

Racial Disparity in Traffic Stops: An Analysis of Racial Profiling Data in Texas

Description: The primary goal of this study was to analyze existing racial profiling data collected and reported by law enforcement agencies in Texas. The internet-based data used was obtained through TCOLE, as it is the state mandated repository in which all law enforcement agencies must submit their annual racial profiling reports to. In analyzing a collection requirement of these reports, this study sought to determine how frequently law enforcement officers know the race or ethnicity of drivers prior to traffic stops. Furthermore, the study sought to determine if there are differences in the rates of race or ethnicity known prior to stops across Texas geographical regions, county population sizes, agency types, as well as between counties with and without interstate thoroughfares. This analysis consisted of 3,250,984 traffic stops conducted by 1,186 law enforcement agencies in 2014. Findings revealed that law enforcement officers rarely know the race or ethnicity of drivers prior to traffic stops, as was consistently found across all measures. Findings and implications are discussed.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Winkler, Jordan M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Recidivism among Determinately Sentenced Juvenile Homicide Offenders in Texas

Description: Juvenile homicide offenders pose a significant risk to society considering the severity of the crime, yet this population of delinquents receives little attention in terms of recidivism research. This study examined the recidivism outcomes of a group of 256 determinately sentenced homicide offenders in Texas. Each of these juveniles had be confined to and subsequently release from the Texas Youth Commission, and were followed for three years following release. The aim of this research study was to distinguish recidivists from non-recidivists across demographic, delinquent history, and risk factor measures. These same measures were then used to predict recidivism among the entire sample. Overall, the measures of race, gender, and previous delinquent adjudications emerged significant. First, Black youth were significantly more likely to recidivate than both Hispanic and White youth. Additionally, recidivism among males was significantly greater than non-recidivism among males. In contrast, there were fewer females in recidivist group than the non-recidivist group. Finally, youth with a greater number of previous delinquent adjudications were significantly more likely to recidivate, and the risk of recidivism increased as the number of previous adjudications increased. These findings are consistent with previous literature and indicate that these factors are prevalent in analyzing the recidivist behavior of determinately sentenced juvenile homicide offenders.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Vaughn, Sydney
Partner: UNT Libraries

Recidivism Among Determinately Sentenced Youth in Texas

Description: 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.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Rich, Courtney E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Recidivism Among Juvenile Sex Offenders in Texas

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.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Martinez, Crystal G.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Recidivism Outcomes among a Cohort of Violent Institutionalized Juvenile Offenders

Description: Serious and violent juvenile offenders cause a disproportionate amount of harm to society, yet this population receives very little attention within the realm of empirical research. This research study examined the recidivism outcomes of 296 serious and violent offenders previously exposed to rehabilitative treatment in the Capital and Serious Violent Offender Program provided by the Texas Youth Commission. This group of juveniles was followed for three years following their release from institutionalization. This analysis revealed that 52% of those released were rearrested at least once during the follow-up period for any offense, while 48% of those released desisted from crime altogether. Of those 296 released, 34% were rearrested for at least one new felony offense. The analyses indicate that those involved in various forms of institutional misconduct during institutionalization were significantly more likely to recidivate. African-American race and institutional misconduct in the form of rule infractions emerged as the most consistent predictors of recidivism for this sample. This study concludes with a discussion of policy implications and risk assessment related to the decisions that are made to release this population of violent juvenile offenders.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Haerle, Darin R.
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

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.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Glassner, Steven
Partner: UNT Libraries

Risk Assessment of Aviation Security and Evaluation of Aviation Security Policies

Description: Comprising many airplanes, airports, aircrew, and employees, aviation industry is a large sector that is very vulnerable to attacks, whether it is from terrorists or criminals. Aviation history is fraught with examples of airport bombings, hijackings, and sabotage terrorist attacks. The most destructive of which is the tragedy of September 11, 2001, the cornerstone of today's aviation security policies. This study uses risk assessment tools to determine the dimensions of danger and threats against the aviation industry and addresses how vulnerable the aviation sector is. After vulnerabilities and threats are examined, possible impacts of attacks against the aviation security are discussed. This study also explores the pre and post September 11 policies that governments and policy makers develop to reduce risks in aviation sector. In addition, it discusses weaknesses and strengths of these policies which surfaced during the implementations. Finally, this study proposes some recommendations based on vulnerabilities and threats of aviation security.
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Date: August 2005
Creator: Yalcinkaya, Ramazan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Serial Killing Myths Versus Reality: A Content Analysis Of Serial Killer Flicks Made Between 1980 and 2001

Description: Public perceptions about serial homicide are more mythical than fact. Myths about serial homicide are perpetuated through several sources, especially the entertainment media which is a dominant and influential mythmaker. The number of films depicting serial killers and serial killing themes has increased dramatically in recent years. However, the reality of these films is debatable. This research examines the reality, or lack thereof, of the most recent films involving a serial killing theme. Hickey provides a wealth of statistical information on a number of serial killers and serial killings. A content analysis of the fifty top grossing serial killer movies made between 1980 and 2001 was conducted using variables from Hickey research. Research shows similarities and differences between variables, however, results concludes the entertainment media does not accurately portray serial homicide.
Date: August 2002
Creator: McCready, Sarah Scott
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Valenzuela, Priscilla
Partner: UNT Libraries

Structuralist and interactionist perspectives of collective behavior and control of crowds.

Description: The purpose of this thesis is to understand the concept of collective behavior from different theoretical perspectives and the policy implications they imply for the Turkish Riot Police Units. The civil disturbances in the 1960s have clearly illustrated range of problems in the domain of crowd control. This work will start with the general characteristics and the classification of collective behavior. Second, two main perspectives on collective behavior, which are the structuralist and the interactionist perspectives, will be examined respectively. The question will be asked whether these two perspectives efficiently and effectively explain the crowds and the crowd control. Finally, the other factors in crowd control will be explored, and recommendations concerning the handling of crowds in a more peaceful manner will be made.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Gunes, Ismail Dincer
Partner: UNT Libraries

A survey of the Greater Dallas Crime Commission and its effect on the

Description: This thesis examines the history of the Greater Dallas Crime Commission and its effectiveness within the criminal justice system. It is a private agency established fifty (50) years ago to monitor and investigate the criminal justice system. Today, it serves as a source of funding for criminal justice agencies, provides awards and recognition forums for law enforcement and lobbies for legal revisions of the criminal code. The research is designed to examine their role within the criminal justice system. Whether current crime theories are supported by the commission is central to the thesis. There are no prior studies available of crime commissions perhaps because they are privately funded and operated by civilians. Crime commissions do exert influence, politically and financially, upon law enforcement. It is reflected often in their history. The extent of this effect is the subject of the paper. To this end, the commission's role in changing state laws, providing funds for police training, recognizing prosecutors and paying awards to informants lends credibility to their role in the criminal justice system. Their function has often changed during the fifty-year history. If there is a deficit, it may be that the commission has the capability, through its sphere of influence, of encouraging civilian actions that may conflict with law enforcement policy. Some examples of these are included in the study.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Latham, H. Lee
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Stephens, Jason L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Taking Steps toward Recidivism Prevention: Examining the Impact of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy on Juvenile Delinquency

Description: Researchers within the criminal justice field have examined recidivism to discover effective methods to deter criminals from re-offending. Typically, incarceration provided specific deterrence for offenders but recidivism after release proved problematic. Using secondary data analysis, the present study evaluates a cognitive behavioral therapy [CBT] program, Reasoning and Rehabilitation, which the state of Colorado implemented in 1995 among juveniles on intensive probation. The original research team collected the data through pre- and post-questionnaires and interviews with probation officers. The pre- and post-test data are utilized to specifically analyze certain variables including self-control, empathy and problemsolving abilities. The focus of the present study is to determine the level of change in these particular variables as an outcome of completing the CBT program. This analysis also explores the value of CBT programs and examines how the programs alter an offender's level of selfcontrol, empathy and problem-solving abilities thus reducing recidivism after completion.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Cain, Stefanie A.
Partner: UNT Libraries