Matching Items (9)

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De-Escalation in Police-Citizen Encounters: A Mixed Methods Study of a Misunderstood Policing Strategy

Description

There is demand for police reform in the United States to reduce use of force and bias, and to improve police-citizen relationships. Many believe de-escalation should be a more central

There is demand for police reform in the United States to reduce use of force and bias, and to improve police-citizen relationships. Many believe de-escalation should be a more central feature of police training and practice. It is suggested that improving officers’ communication and conflict resolution skills will temper police-citizen interactions and reduce police use of force, and that such a change will improve citizen trust in the police. To date, however, de-escalation training has not spread widely across agencies, and de-escalation as a strategy has not been studied. Without an evidence-based understanding of these concepts, de-escalation training will proceed blindly, if at all. Accordingly, this dissertation represents one of the first empirical studies of de-escalation in police work. The author completed this study as an embedded researcher in the Spokane (WA) Police Department, and it proceeds in two parts. Part 1 was exploratory and qualitative, consisting of in-depth interviews (N=8) and a focus group (N=1) with eight highly skilled police de-escalators. These officers were nominated by peers as the best among them at de-escalating difficult encounters with citizens. The results in Part 1 explore officers’ perceptions of de-escalation and offer a definition of de-escalation as well as a description of de-escalation tactics. In Part 2, the author systematically observed the concepts developed in part 1 during 35 ride-alongs with 29 police officers, including the peer nominated officers (N=131 police-citizen encounters). This phase of the research investigated whether characteristics of officers, citizens, and situations are associated with de-escalation use, and de-escalation effectiveness. Implications from these findings are drawn for police practice, theory, and research methods. This dissertation is a launching point for empirical research on de-escalation in police work.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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The rise of centralized policing along the southwest border: a social response to disorder, crime, and violence, 1835-1935

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ABSTRACT Following the tragic events of 9-11, top Federal policy makers moved to establish the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This massive realignment of federal public safety agencies also loosely

ABSTRACT Following the tragic events of 9-11, top Federal policy makers moved to establish the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This massive realignment of federal public safety agencies also loosely centralized all U.S. civilian security organizations under a single umbrella. Designed to respond rapidly to critical security threats, the DHS was vested with superseding authority and broad powers of enforcement. Serving as a cabinet member, the new agency was administered by a secretary who answered directly to the President of the United States or the national chief executive. At its creation, many touted this agency as a new security structure. This thesis argues that the formation of DHS was not innovative in nature. Rather, its formation was simply the next logical step in the tiered development of an increasingly centralized approach to policing in the United States. This development took place during the early settlement period of Texas and began with the formation of the Texas Rangers. As the nation's first border patrol, this organization greatly influenced the development of centralized policing and law enforcement culture in the United States. As such, subsequent agencies following this model frequently shared a startling number of parallel developments and experienced many of the same successes and failures. The history of this development is a contested narrative, one that connects directly to a number of current, critical social issues regarding race and police accountability. This thesis raises questions regarding the American homeland. Whose homeland was truly being protected? It also traces the origins of the power to justify the use of gratuitous violence and the casting of particular members of society as the symbolic enemy or outsiders. Lastly, this exploration hopes to bring about a better understanding of the traditional directionality of the use of coercive force towards particular members of society, while at the same time, justifying this use for the protection of the rights and safety of others. It is hoped that the culmination of this work will assist American society in learning to address the task of redressing past wrongs while building more effective and democratic public security structures. This is of the utmost importance as the United States continues to weigh the benefits of centralized security mechanisms and expanding police authority against the erosion of the tradition of states' rights and the personal civil liberties of its citizens. Because police power must continually be monitored and held in check, concerns regarding the increasing militarization of civilian policing may benefit from an objective evaluation of the rise of centralized policing as experienced through the development of the Texas Rangers and rural range policing.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Examining the relationship between immigration status and criminal involvement: do illegal immigrants commit more crime?

Description

A perceived link between illegal immigration and crime continues to exist. Citizens continue to believe that immigration creates crime and fear that as the immigrant population grows, their safety is

A perceived link between illegal immigration and crime continues to exist. Citizens continue to believe that immigration creates crime and fear that as the immigrant population grows, their safety is jeopardized. Not much research in the field of criminology, however, has focused on examining this perceived relationship between immigration and crime. Those studies which have examined the relationship have mainly relied on official data to conduct their analysis. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the relationship between immigration and crime by examining self report data as well as some official data on immigration status and criminal involvement. More specifically, this thesis examines the relationship between immigration status and four different types of criminal involvement; property crimes, violent crimes, drug sales, and drug use. Data from a sample of 1,990 arrestees in the Maricopa County, Arizona, was used to conduct this analysis. This data was collected through the Arizona Arrestee Reporting Information Network over the course of a year. The results of the logistic regression models indicate that immigrants tend to commit less crime than U.S. citizens. Furthermore, illegal immigrants are significantly less likely than U.S. citizens to commit any of the four types of crimes, with the exception of powder cocaine use.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Spirituality, Religion, and Gang Membership: An Exploratory Analysis

Description

Gangs present a wide array of consequences, both for society as a whole and for gang members themselves. Addressing factors that influence gang membership is of critical importance; however, very

Gangs present a wide array of consequences, both for society as a whole and for gang members themselves. Addressing factors that influence gang membership is of critical importance; however, very little research to date has sought to understand the relationship between spirituality, religion, and gang membership, instead focusing on general deviance. The goal of the present study is to bridge this gap by addressing two research questions: 1. what is the relationship between spirituality and gang membership? And 2. what is the relationship between formal religious participation and gang membership? In order to answer these questions, the current study utilizes Pathways to Desistance, a longitudinal study of adjudicated youth and young adults in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Phoenix, Arizona. Logistic regression indicates that spirituality, not formal religious participation, is associated with decreased odds of gang membership in the first two years following adjudication. In addition, increased levels of antisocial peer deviance are significantly associated with increased odds of gang membership. Together, these results indicate that reorienting gang members away from their deviant peers, fostering new, prosocial connections, and encouraging spiritual ideas such as personal closeness to a higher power and feelings of spiritual support may help decrease their odds of continuing participation in gang life. These findings support the continuation of faith-based gang treatments, but do not support formal religious practices (such as church services) as a focus of these treatments. Future research should collect original data, including qualitative interviews about gang members’ perceptions of and relationship with religion and spirituality, as well as utilize Pathways to Desistance in its full seven-year capacity in order to further understand the nuances of this relationship.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Criminal capital and the transition to adulthood

Description

Life course criminology is characterized by a two-pronged approach to research. The first branch emphasizes social integration and involvement with pro-social institutions as turning points in the criminal career. The

Life course criminology is characterized by a two-pronged approach to research. The first branch emphasizes social integration and involvement with pro-social institutions as turning points in the criminal career. The second branch of this work assesses how access to the institutions that facilitate social integration are conditioned by factors such as involvement in the criminal justice system. Theories of capital are chiefly concerned with social integration and the continuity of conventionality, conformity, and prosperity offered through social ties and social networks. Absent from life course criminology is a better understanding of how different forms of criminal capital can influence access to institutions like higher education, marriage, and employment during the transition to adulthood. Drawing on insights from distinct bodies of literature on peers, capital, and status attainment, the present study elaborates on the influence of criminal capital for (un)successful transitions to adulthood. Using three waves of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (“Add Health”), the effects of adolescent criminal social capital on criminal cultural and human capital, and subsequent educational, occupational, and marital attainment in early adulthood are examined. Results from a series of regression models demonstrate that criminal social capital has minimal effects on fatalistic beliefs or thoughtful and reflective decision making, and that these forms of criminal capital generally have inconsistent effects on later life transitions. Implications for theory and future research are discussed.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Physical Health, Social Support, and Reentry: A Longitudinal Examination of Formerly Incarcerated Individuals

Description

Incarceration has a lasting and robust impact on individuals’ health, social support networks, and general well-being. Yet the role of carceral or personal factors in health outcomes remains unclear, particularly

Incarceration has a lasting and robust impact on individuals’ health, social support networks, and general well-being. Yet the role of carceral or personal factors in health outcomes remains unclear, particularly for racial and ethnic minorities. Prisons, with crowded living areas and shared bathroom facilities, invite the spread of infectious diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS. The overwhelming majority of incarcerated individuals will eventually be released back to their communities, bringing with them any health-related issues acquired in prison and beforehand. This makes ex-prisoners’ health a correctional and public health and safety issue. Accordingly, this study seeks to advance our understanding and improve correctional policy by (1) assessing the factors that affect the adverse physical and mental health of returning prisoners, (2) determining how different types of social support (instrumental or emotional) and stress alter the relationship between health and positive reentry outcomes, and (3) examining how health, stress, and social support influence offending and drug use. The broader purpose of this research is to inform correctional policy and practice, engage public health concerns about ex-prisoners, and create a cost-effective model to decrease the stressors related to offender reentry, with the ultimate aim of reducing recidivism. The study includes 802 male ex-prisoners, with an original target sample size of 400 gang and 400 non-gang members identified using disproportionate stratified random sampling techniques. The study was conducted in cooperation with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) in two prisons. Data come from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) funded LoneStar Project and include a battery of survey questions about demographic information, physical and mental health, criminological theoretical constructs, release planning, criminogenic attitudes, and gang membership. The dissertation uses two waves of the LoneStar Project: an in-prison baseline interview, administered a week before release, and an interview administered over the phone at one month post-release. After conducting descriptive analyses, regression modeling will be used to assess the effects of the key independent variables on physical health and later, self-reported offending, net of appropriate controls. Results and relevant policy implications are discussed and should appeal to criminologists, health scholars, policymakers, and practitioners.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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A case study of the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act: reforming the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections

Description

Research examining the long-term impacts of federal interventions under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act on correctional institutions has been scant. The result has been a failure to understand

Research examining the long-term impacts of federal interventions under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act on correctional institutions has been scant. The result has been a failure to understand the sustainability of reforms aimed at protecting the civil rights of confined persons. This dissertation examined the long-term reforms at the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections following a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice from 2004 to 2007. Interviews were conducted with current and former ADJC employees, juvenile justice advocates across Arizona, and county court representatives to determine how each of these groups perceived the status of the reforms at the ADJC. The findings of the current dissertation suggest that long-term reforms following consent decrees imposed on correctional institutions are possible. At the ADJC, the methods for securing the reform required that the agency reform its culture, implement a Quality Assurance process, revamp the Investigations and Inspections unit at the agency, and consider the perspectives of external agencies. One of the primary reasons why the department has been committed to making these reforms is because of the perceived loss of legitimacy and resources that would occur if they failed to reform. Such a failure for the agency could have potentially resulted in a closure of the agency. However, the increase in punitive and preventive policies used to enforce the reforms may have negative repercussions on the organizational culture in the long term. Policy implications for future CRIPA consent decrees are outlined, limitations are addressed, and suggestions for future research are made.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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On the brink: experiences of women with mental illness on probation

Description

This dissertation explores the lives of women who are on the Severely Mentally Ill (SMI) caseload at Maricopa County Adult Probation in Arizona (The Phoenix metro region). The project focuses

This dissertation explores the lives of women who are on the Severely Mentally Ill (SMI) caseload at Maricopa County Adult Probation in Arizona (The Phoenix metro region). The project focuses on three primary issues: (1) what are the pathways to the criminal justice and mental health systems for women on the SMI caseload (2) how does discretion and expansive formal social control (both benevolent and coercive) impact the lives of these women on the SMI caseload and (3) what are the gendered aspects to successful completion of SMI probation. To answer these questions a mixed-methods research design was employed. First, in-depth semi-structured interviews were completed with 65 women on the SMI caseload. Second, these interviews were supplemented with a case file review of each participant, and field observations (encompassing roughly 100 hours) were conducted at the Maricopa County Mental Health Court. Third, analysis also included 5.5 years of quantitative intake data from the SMI caseload, exploring demographic information and risk and assessment needs scores. The biographies of the women on the SMI caseload revealed similar histories of victimization, substance abuse, and relationship difficulty that previous pathways research has noted. Additionally, mental health problems directly impacted the path to the criminal justice system for some women on the SMI caseload. Results also showed many aspects of expanded social control for women on the SMI caseload. This expanded control appeared to be gendered at times and often created double binds for women. Finally, quantitative analysis showed that some predictive factors of SMI probation completion were gendered. Policy implications and summaries of findings are discussed.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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The non-criminal consequences of gang membership: impacts on education and employment in the life-course

Description

Research on the consequences of gang membership is limited mainly to the study of crime and victimization. This gives the narrow impression that the effects of gang membership do not

Research on the consequences of gang membership is limited mainly to the study of crime and victimization. This gives the narrow impression that the effects of gang membership do not cascade into other life domains. This dissertation conceptualized gang membership as a snare in the life-course that disrupts progression in conventional life domains. National Longitudinal Survey of Youth Cohort of 1997 (NLSY97) data were used to examine the effects of adolescent gang membership on the nature and patterns of educational attainment and employment over a 12-year period in the life-course. Variants of propensity score weighting were used to assess the effects of gang joining on a range of outcomes pertaining to educational attainment and employment. The key findings in this dissertation include: (1) selection adjustments partially or fully confounded the effects of gang joining; despite this (2) gang joiners had 70 percent the odds of earning a high school diploma and 42 percent the odds of earning a 4-year college degree than matched individuals who avoided gangs; (3) at the 11-year mark, the effect of gang joining on educational attainment exceeded one-half year; (4) gang joiners made up for proximate deficits in high school graduation and college matriculation, but gaps in 4-year college degree and overall educational attainment gained throughout the study; (5) gang joiners were less likely to be employed and more likely to not participate in the labor force, and these differences accelerated toward the end of the study; (6) gang joiners spent an additional one-third of a year jobless relative to their matched counterparts; and (7) the cumulative effect of gang joining on annual income exceeded $14,000, which was explained by the patterning of joblessness rather than the quality of jobs. The theoretical and policy implications of these findings, as well as directions for future research, are addressed in the concluding chapter of this dissertation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012