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Parental criminality: links to additional risk factors for juvenile delinquency

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Prior research has found links between family environment and criminal outcomes, but research is lacking on why these factors often occur together within families. Parental criminality, family size, and family disruption have been analyzed as risk factors for juvenile delinquency,

Prior research has found links between family environment and criminal outcomes, but research is lacking on why these factors often occur together within families. Parental criminality, family size, and family disruption have been analyzed as risk factors for juvenile delinquency, but their relationships with each other have gone largely unexplored. This thesis explores the relationship between parental criminality, having children, number of children, and patterns of residence with children. Data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth '97 are used to associate likelihood of having children, likelihood of having any children out of residence, percent of children in residence, and number of children with arrest prevalence and self-reported offending. Results were generally supportive. Moderate effect sizes were found for likelihood of having children, with large effects on likelihood of having any children out of residence. Moderate effects were found for percentage of children in residence, and large effects were found for number of children.

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2011

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Arrest-related deaths in the United States: an assessment of the current measurement

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Though police-involved homicides have generated controversy and caused community disruptions and riots for many years, few efforts to systematically capture and study these events exist. The lack of research on arrest-related deaths (ARDs) is particularly troubling not only because of

Though police-involved homicides have generated controversy and caused community disruptions and riots for many years, few efforts to systematically capture and study these events exist. The lack of research on arrest-related deaths (ARDs) is particularly troubling not only because of the consequences of these events, but also because the nature of how these deaths occur may also be changing. In particular, recent attention has shifted away from incidents where police use firearms to incidents where other less-lethal tools are used but death still occurs (e.g., TASERs). In 2000, the Federal Government sought to address this problem through the creation of the Deaths in Custody Reporting Program (DCRP), a national-level voluntary reporting system managed by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. There have been few efforts, however, that have assessed the accuracy and completeness of the DCRP data collection. The current study seeks to accomplish this through a comparison of ARDs in the DCRP to open-source, web-based media reports of ARDs in a stratified, random sample of 12 states during 2005. The study finds that all types of ARDs, not just police-involved homicides, are not accurately and reliably reported. Furthermore, the information provided is not reliably reported or interesting to research initiatives. Improvements in how the data is collected and what type of data is collected are needed. This adds to the scholarly research that advocates for a systematic and reliable national dataset of all deaths that occur in the process of arrest.

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2011

Relative vs. absolute stability in self-control: a meta-analysis

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ABSTRACT Research on self-control theory (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1990) consistently supports its' central proposition that low self-control significantly affects crime. The theory includes other predictions, which have received far less empirical scrutiny. Among these is the argument that self-control is

ABSTRACT Research on self-control theory (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1990) consistently supports its' central proposition that low self-control significantly affects crime. The theory includes other predictions, which have received far less empirical scrutiny. Among these is the argument that self-control is developed early in childhood and that individual differences then persist over time. Gottfredson and Hirschi contend that once established by age ten, self-control remains relatively stable over one's life-course (stability postulate). To determine the empirical status of Gottfredson and Hirschi's "stability postulate," a meta-analysis on existing empirical studies was conducted. Results for this study support the contentions made by Gottfredson and Hirschi, however the inclusion of various moderating variables significantly influenced this relationship. Keywords: self-control, self-control stability, absolute stability, relative stability

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2013

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The effects of procedural justice and police performance on citizens' satisfaction with police

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It is hypothesized that procedural justice influences citizens' satisfaction with the police. An alternative argument holds that police performance measures, such as perceptions of crime and safety, are more salient. This study empirically investigates the predictive validity of both theoretical

It is hypothesized that procedural justice influences citizens' satisfaction with the police. An alternative argument holds that police performance measures, such as perceptions of crime and safety, are more salient. This study empirically investigates the predictive validity of both theoretical arguments. Using mail survey data from 563 adult residents from Monroe County, Michigan, a series of linear regression equations were estimated. The results suggest that procedural justice is a robust predictor of satisfaction with police. In contrast, several police performance measures failed to predict satisfaction with police. Overall, these findings support Tyler and Huo's (2002) contention that judgments regarding whether police exercise their authority in a procedurally-just fashion influence citizens' satisfaction with police more than fear of crime, perceptions of disorder, and the like.

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2012

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Social learning in context: group homies, mentorship, and social support

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Social learning theory has enjoyed decades of supportive research and has been applied to a wide range of criminal and deviant behavior. Still eluding criminological theorists, however, is a meaningful understanding of the causal processes underlying social learning. This lack

Social learning theory has enjoyed decades of supportive research and has been applied to a wide range of criminal and deviant behavior. Still eluding criminological theorists, however, is a meaningful understanding of the causal processes underlying social learning. This lack of knowledge is due in part to a relative reluctance to examine value transmission as a process in the contexts of mentorship, role modeling, and social learning. With this empirical gap in mind, the present study seeks to isolate and classify meaningful themes in mentorship through loosely structured interviews with young men on the periphery of the criminal processing system. The purposive sample is drawn from youth in a Southwestern state, living in a state-funded, privately run group home for children of unfit, incarcerated, or deported/undocumented parents. The youth included in the study have recently passed the age of eighteen, and have elected to stay in the group home on a voluntary basis pending the completion of a High School diploma. Further, both the subjects and the researcher participate in a program which imparts mentorship through art projects, free expression, and ongoing, semi-structured exposure to prosocial adults. This study therefore provides a unique opportunity to explore qualitatively social learning concepts through the eyes of troubled youth, and to generate new lines of theory to facilitate the empirical testing of social learning as a process. Implications for future research are discussed.

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2012

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Coordinated like the criminals [electronic resource]: a policy analysis of the current and future U.S. responses to drug cartels

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The presence of drug cartels within Mexico impacts U.S. national security, foreign policy, U.S. crime rates, and public health policy. Due to the direct and indirect effects that the cartels have on the United States, this paper examines the Mérida

The presence of drug cartels within Mexico impacts U.S. national security, foreign policy, U.S. crime rates, and public health policy. Due to the direct and indirect effects that the cartels have on the United States, this paper examines the Mérida Initiative, the current U.S. anti-cartel policy, and makes several recommendations for future policy directions. Using official documents as well as current academic research, this paper examines the outcomes of past comparable policies that the United States has implemented in Colombia and Afghanistan to address the issue of drug trafficking. The paper then builds on the present successes of the Mérida Initiative by recommending several policies in the areas of international cooperation, agricultural development, Mexican targeting and enforcement, and U.S. law enforcement. This paper recommends that information sharing between countries should be increased to reduce the likelihood that pressure place on cartels will cause displacement; crop eradication cease and alternative crop development be implemented to reduce illicit crop growth; the joint Mexican-U.S. enforcement focus should move from high-value targets to more highly connected members; the United States should increase vetting for gun purchases to help keep guns out of the hands of cartel members; and domestic drug policies should shift toward treatment and demand-focused policies. By implementing the recommended policies, this paper suggests that the influence of cartels within Mexico as well as the United States may be reduced.

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2014

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An experimental approach analyzing who sees disorder when there is nothing to see: understanding variance of perceptions via personal characteristics

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Knowing that disorder is related to crime, it has become essential for criminologists to understand how and why certain individuals perceive disorder. Using data from the Perceptions of Neighborhood Disorder and Interpersonal Conflict Project, this study uses a fixed photograph

Knowing that disorder is related to crime, it has become essential for criminologists to understand how and why certain individuals perceive disorder. Using data from the Perceptions of Neighborhood Disorder and Interpersonal Conflict Project, this study uses a fixed photograph of a neighborhood, to assess whether individuals "see" disorder cues. A final sample size of n=815 respondents were asked to indicate if they saw particular disorder cues in the photograph. The results show that certain personal characteristics do predict whether an individual sees disorder. Because of the experimental design, results are a product of the individual's personal characteristics, not of the respondent's neighborhood. These findings suggest that the perception of disorder is not as clear cut as once thought. Future research should explore what about these personal characteristics foster the perception of disorder when it is not present, as well as, how to fight disorder in neighborhoods when perception plays such a substantial role.

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2013

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Thoughtfully reflective decision making as a mediator [electronic resource]: examining the indirect effect of self-control on delinquency

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Since Gottfredson and Hirschi proposed the general theory of crime, the direct link between self-control and delinquency has gained strong empirical support, and low self-control is now considered as a significant predictor of individual delinquent behaviors. However, the indirect link

Since Gottfredson and Hirschi proposed the general theory of crime, the direct link between self-control and delinquency has gained strong empirical support, and low self-control is now considered as a significant predictor of individual delinquent behaviors. However, the indirect link between self-control and delinquency still remains understudied. This study fills this void by introducing thoughtfully reflective decision making (TRDM), an important factor intimated by rational choice theory, as the mediator of the relationship between low self-control and delinquency. Using self-reported data from the city of Changzhi, China, this study finds that self-control is closely related to TRDM, low self-control is a significant predictor of general and non-violent delinquency, and TRDM does not mediate the effect of low self-control on delinquency. Findings from this study largely support the generalizability of self-control theory under the Chinese cultural environment, and also suggest that it might be fruitful to test other criminological theories in the Chinese context. The study's findings and their implications for theory and research are discussed.

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2014

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The origins of life-course persistent offending revisited: does self-control mediate the effect of neuropsychological deficits on early-onset offending?

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The link between childhood neuropsychological deficits and early-onset offending--the assumed precursor to life-course persistent offending--has been well established, yet the underlying mechanisms facilitating this relationship are less understood. Support is growing for the claim that self-control is a key mechanism

The link between childhood neuropsychological deficits and early-onset offending--the assumed precursor to life-course persistent offending--has been well established, yet the underlying mechanisms facilitating this relationship are less understood. Support is growing for the claim that self-control is a key mechanism that links neuropsychological deficits to early-onset offending. Despite this, findings are mixed with regard to the mediating effect of self-control in the relationship between neuropsychological deficits and antisocial behavior. These studies largely support the notion that self-control exerts a mediating effect on neuropsychological deficits when the offending being studied is less serious. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), the present study seeks to build upon the existing literature by examining whether self-control mediates the relationship between neuropsychological deficits and two types of early-onset offending--low and high risk--as a means of testing core tenets of Gottfredson and Hirschi's (1990) and Moffitt's (1993) criminological theories. Findings show that while self-control and neuropsychological deficits independently predict general early-onset offending, these effects vary as a consequence of early-onset offender type. The results point to the need for future research to explore the possibility that the early-onset offender group that leads to persistent offending could be more precisely defined. Examining early-onset offending as a single construct limits our ability to make inferences about those offenders that are the most persistent in their offending patterns and, arguably, more likely to continue offending over the life-course.

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2014

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Criminal partnerships: the effects of intervention strategies on "cartel affiliated" gangs

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Mexican drug cartels have been a difficult group to get official data on because of the clandestine nature of their operations and the inherent dangers associated with any type of research on these groups. Due to the close relationship that

Mexican drug cartels have been a difficult group to get official data on because of the clandestine nature of their operations and the inherent dangers associated with any type of research on these groups. Due to the close relationship that the United States and Mexico share, the United States being a heavy demander of illicit drugs and Mexico being the supplier or the transshipment point, research that sheds light on cartels and their effects is necessary in order to solve this problem. A growing concern is that cartels have been seeking to improve their international infrastructure. This could potentially be done by partnering with gangs located in the United States to help with the distribution of drugs. The author uses data from the 2009 and 2010 Arizona Gang Threat Assessment and three sets of analyses (dummy variable regression, change score, multinomial logistic) to shed light on the possible partnership between cartels and U.S. based gangs. Primarily using the varying level of intervention strategies practiced by police departments throughout the state of Arizona, this study is exploratory in nature, but attempts to find the effectiveness of intervention strategies on "cartel affiliated" gangs, as identified by federal authorities, and how police departments respond towards these same groups. With the current data, there was no significant evidence that suggests that intervention strategies were less effective on "cartel affiliated" gangs or that police departments were responsive towards these “affiliated” gangs.

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2015