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

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.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Hilving, Rebecca

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.

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

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.

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

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).
Date: August 2012
Creator: Thimamontri, Apinya

Island Empire: the Influence of the Maceo Family in Galveston

Description: 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.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Boatman, T. Nicole

Evaluation of Program Effectiveness: a Look at the Bedford Police Department’s Strategy Towards Repeat Victimization in Domestic Violence and Mental Health

Description: 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.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Huskey, Michael G.

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.