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Fundamental Demographics of Digital Piracy Offenders

Description: Digital piracy is an emerging cybercrime subtype with overarching implications for administrators and researchers alike. Within this body of knowledge, it is unclear what individual-level factors are linked to digital piracy. Using a college-based sample, while focusing on gender, race, and age, this study identifies fundamental individual-level variables associated with digital piracy commission. After conducting multiple independent samples t-tests and a multivariate logistic regression, results found age and computer proficiency were significantly associated with the likelihood of engaging in digital piracy. These findings can help establish the foundational characteristics of digital pirates. By shifting the focus back to basic individual factors, universities can identify preventive efforts and researchers can better understand who engages in digital piracy.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Guerra, Chris

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

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.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Gibbs, Gina N.

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

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.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Dixon, Ashford Leon

Let the Punishment Fit the Crime: an Overview of the Historical Approach to Probation in the State of Texas

Description: Adult probation evolved in the United States as a result of the suspended sentence concept. As a result of a lack of follow through when an individual obtained a suspended sentence, there was no “checks and balances” to monitor whether an individual completed the guidelines set forth. As time progressed, it became apparent a more cohesive and monitored system was needed. Thus, an energetic and motivated individual, John Augustus, started the concept of probation by taking it upon himself to assist in the rehabilitative process of individuals charged with criminal behavior. Subsequent to his death, the concept of probation was embraced by his advocates who lobbied legislatively in order to enact probation laws that would oversee the success of probationers. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that the counties in the state of Texas took it upon themselves to enact their own system of monitoring of probationers. Over time the states have guided their probation concepts from evidence based research. Juvenile probation in the United States didn’t gain a solid foundation until the end of the 19th century with the development of the first juvenile court in Illinois. It took this country time to understand that juveniles were different than adults mentally; therefore, there would need to be a separation of juveniles from adults from being subjected to the same punishments as adults. The approach in dealing with juveniles was more grounded in treatment rather than in punishment. In the state of Texas, the focus for juvenile probation was based on different approaches based on the areas within the state. The juvenile system has gone through the due process era to its current state of the evidence based research. This thesis will provide the reader an overview of the history of the development of probation in the United States and in ...
Date: May 2015
Creator: Reichstein, Sheldon Philip

Not So Elementary: An Examination of Trends in a Century of Sherlock Holmes Adaptations

Description: This study examines changes over time in 40 different Sherlock Holmes films and 39 television series and movies spanning from 1900 to 2017. Quantitative observations were mixed with a qualitative examination. Perceptions of law enforcement became more positive over time, the types of crime did not vary, and representation of race and gender improved over time with incrementally positive changes in the representation of queer, mentally ill, and physically handicapped individuals. The exact nature of these trends is discussed. Additionally, the trends of different decades are explored and compared. Sherlock Holmes is mostly used as a vehicle for storytelling rather than for the salacious crimes that he solves, making the identification of perceptions of crime in different decades difficult. The reasons for why different Sherlock Holmes projects were created in different eras and for different purposes are discussed.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Camp, Nathan

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

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

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.

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.

Student Perceptions of the University of North Texas Campus Police

Description: Numerous studies have been conducted to determine predictors of perceptions and attitudes toward police. Less effort has been spent on determining university and college students' perceptions of campus police departments. The purpose of this thesis was to fill this gap in the literature with an added emphasis on exploring potential differences in perceptions between students involved in Greek Life organizations and students not involved in Greek Life organizations. Prior literature found that Greek Life students engage in risk-taking behaviors at higher rates than their counterparts, so it was hypothesized that Greek Life students would have higher levels of distrust in the campus police due to their increased engagement in risk-taking behaviors. The survey questionnaire measuring trust and procedural justice/legitimacy perceptions of campus police was distributed through convenience sampling to university students. Descriptive statistics, bivariate analyses, and multivariate analyses were utilized to analyze the data. The results showed that students overall had positive perceptions of campus police, that Greek Life students had more negative perceptions of the campus police than non-Greek Life students, and that students with prior interactions with the campus police were more likely to perceive the police to be less procedurally just/legitimate. Race/ethnicity was not found to be a predictor in perceptions of trust or procedural justice/legitimacy of the campus police. Limitations, policy implications, and suggestions for future research concerning student perceptions of campus police were also discussed.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Stidd, Megan D

Terrorism, Media and Public Perception: Influence of Media on Public Perception on Terrorism Related Matters

Description: The purpose of this study is to measure and examine whether terrorism continues to be highly feared and over-predicted, whether exposure to mass or news media influences perceptions of terrorism, whether mass media remains a significant source of information on terrorism related matters and whether people are prepared to act in the event of a terrorist attack. The respondents in this research consisted of a sample of 135 students aged 18 and over, at a participating mid-size university in a southern state, who completed a self-reported online survey on voluntary basis. The findings of the study suggests that the respondents access terrorism related news-media on both weekly and daily basis. Those with frequent access tend to overestimate the likelihood of a domestic terrorist attack and the threat posed by terrorism and tend to show higher levels of fear associated with terrorism. The majority of the respondents indicated average access of news-media of once or twice a week, or no use at all and they tend to not overestimate the likelihood of a terrorist attack, indicate some or no fear in relation to terrorism and tend to have more accurate perception of the current threat posed by terrorism.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Ivanova, Andrea