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