Matching Items (29)

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Exploring Sexual Violence Victimization at Arizona State University

Description

For my honors thesis project in Barrett, the Honors College, I conducted an online college survey that measured student attitudes and perceptions with regard to gender, sexual assault, and domestic

For my honors thesis project in Barrett, the Honors College, I conducted an online college survey that measured student attitudes and perceptions with regard to gender, sexual assault, and domestic violence. In doing so, I also asked students situational questions about their experiences with sexual violence. The research question for the project centered around hidden victims who have been affected by gender-based violence but have yet to report the incident to law enforcement or university officials, despite a number of prominent educational and prevention campaigns on campus and in mainstream media. At the conclusion of the Spring 2016 semester, I received 683 responses from current students at Arizona State University. For the majority of situational questions, 20-30% of individuals answered "yes" to experiencing incidents of sexual violence, many of which focused on if someone had used alcohol/drugs, threats, or physical force to obtain sexual intercourse. For the survey, 11% of women said yes to the question, "have you ever been raped?" Additionally, a significant number of students hesitate to report incidents to law enforcement or university officials because: (1) they were ashamed or embarrassed, (2) wanted to forget it happened, and (3) believed it was a private matter that they wanted to deal with on their own. With this information, university administrators can develop a better understanding of the ASU campus culture as it relates to sexual violence. Additionally, organizational and institutional efforts can be organized and designed to meet the specific needs of our student body with the goal of ultimately reducing the number of sexual assaults that take place.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Cumulative Disadvantage: Examining Racial and Ethnic Disparity in Prosecution and Sentencing

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Current research on criminal case processing typically examines a single decision-making point, so drawing reliable conclusions about the impact that factors such as defendants’ race or ethnicity exert across successive

Current research on criminal case processing typically examines a single decision-making point, so drawing reliable conclusions about the impact that factors such as defendants’ race or ethnicity exert across successive stages of the justice system is difficult. Using data from the New York County District Attorney's Office that tracks 185,275 diverse criminal cases, this study assesses racial and ethnic disparity for multiple discretionary points of prosecution and sentencing. Findings from multivariate logistic regression analyses demonstrate that the effects of race and ethnicity vary by discretionary point and offense category. Black and Latino defendants were more likely than White defendants to be detained, to receive a custodial plea offer, and to be incarcerated—and they received especially punitive outcomes for person offenses—but were more likely to benefit from case dismissals. The findings for Asian defendants were less consistent but suggest they were the least likely to be detained, to receive custodial offers, and to be incarcerated. These findings are discussed in the context of contemporary theoretical perspectives on racial bias and cumulative disadvantage in the justice system.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-08-01

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"Fundamentally Flawed?" Exploring the Use of Policy Disagreements in Judicial Downward Departures for Child Pornography Sentences

Description

Research Summary
Using U.S. Sentencing Commission data, this study assesses whether judicial downward departures are more prevalent among child pornography offenders compared with a matched sample of defendants convicted of

Research Summary
Using U.S. Sentencing Commission data, this study assesses whether judicial downward departures are more prevalent among child pornography offenders compared with a matched sample of defendants convicted of other offenses. Additionally, we examine reasons given by judges when departing from the guidelines for these offenders. We found that child pornography defendants received significant reductions in sentences by way of judicial downward departures.
Policy Implications
In 2007, the Supreme Court considerably altered the federal sentencing process. In Kimbrough v. United States (2007), the Court held that judicial departures were permissible on grounds of a policy disagreement. Many circuit courts have authorized sentencing judges to depart from the guidelines in child pornography cases based on such a policy disagreement. The findings of this study suggest that judicial downward departures for these offenders cannot be explained by individual characteristics, such as race, gender, or age, and may be indicative of a specific disagreement with this particular sentencing policy. An examination of the reasons provided by judges supports the hypothesis that judges may be attempting to remedy what they perceive as unjustly harsh sentencing guidelines.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05-01

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Post-Conviction Polygraph Examinations: Useful or Useless?

Description

A polygraph exam attempts to measure “truthfulness” based on several physiological factors—such as changes in heart rate, breathing, sweating, and other physical responses. Ever since the polygraph exam was invented

A polygraph exam attempts to measure “truthfulness” based on several physiological factors—such as changes in heart rate, breathing, sweating, and other physical responses. Ever since the polygraph exam was invented in 1921, however, it has been surrounded by heavy controversy. The largest controversy is whether or not polygraph exams are scientifically valid. Aside from debate over whether “truthfulness” can actually be scientifically measured, polygraph testing is vulnerable to factors like the skill level of the examiner, the IQ of the subject, the setting of the exam, and finally, the ability for subjects to employ “countermeasures.” Countermeasures include physical movements, mental exercises, drug use, and biofeedback training. In addition to these drawbacks, the polygraph exam is not admissible in court. Despite this, the polygraph can still serve other purposes—anywhere from assisting in the law enforcement hiring process to classifying the behavior of convicted sex offenders. Polygraph examinations may be administered at various points during a criminal investigation, both pre-conviction and post-conviction. For example, when a criminal investigation first begins, a subject may be polygraphed to be eliminated as a suspect. Once charges are filed against an individual for an offense, law enforcement may polygraph the subject to obtain more information. After conviction, an offender may be polygraphed at various points during their incarceration, as a part of research studies, as well as part of monitoring sex offenders. In the United States, more than thirty states require that polygraph exams be administered to monitor sex offenders. These periodic exams help track sexual offender’s therapeutic progress, identify risk factors, and shed light on any new offenses. This thesis paper provides a synthesis of the current state of literature surrounding the use of post-conviction polygraphs on sex offenders by outlining the numerous advantages and disadvantages.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Domino Drug Policy: The Implications of Arizona’s Conformity to Federal Narcotic Regulation

Description

Arizona’s struggle with the opioid crisis reflects a failure of drug policy. This failure stems from decades of mimicking federal narcotic criminalization legislation. Arizona’s deference on narcotic policy was driven

Arizona’s struggle with the opioid crisis reflects a failure of drug policy. This failure stems from decades of mimicking federal narcotic criminalization legislation. Arizona’s deference on narcotic policy was driven by a fear of addicts that was intentionally inflated by federal agents. Further, the federal prioritization of state uniformity of narcotic policy spread and entrenched the consequences of creating an illegal narcotics market. Arizona adopted these uniform policies enthusiastically. The state’s continued adoption of federal policy— exemplified by five pieces of legislation spanning between 1931 and 1979— show a continued theme of fear of addicts and prioritization of criminalization for the sake of uniformity. Criminalization and demonization of addicts are the main drivers of the modern opioid crisis. In this way, Arizona is culpable and is thus obligated to adopt an alternate narcotic policy approach that prioritizes evidence, compassion, and individual rights.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-12

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A Clash of United States-United Kingdom Criminal Justice Systems: A Way Forward to Better Justice

Description

The United States (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK) have a long and complicated history, but through this they have learned an abundance of things from each other. In this

The United States (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK) have a long and complicated history, but through this they have learned an abundance of things from each other. In this paper, I will argue that the two countries still have much to learn from each other to this day about how to enforce the law and manage crime. An important structure that the United Kingdom helped influence the United States in was the development of their criminal justice system. Although the two country’s values differ, there are great similarities in the ways the two countries deal with crime but numerous differences as well. Looking deeper into the differences between the two systems can help future research identify new and innovative ways to combat crime and actively reduce crime rates. This paper will compare violent crime rates in the USA and UK for four years (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017). Doing so will provide evidence regarding the degree to which the police in each country have been able to effectively enforce the law. After evaluating these differences, I will conclude with a discussion of the key items that I believe each country should take from the other to create a path forward to better justice. Our societies are constantly evolving, creating a necessity to progress our laws and aspects of the criminal justice system, and examining internal workings will only tell so much. There is never a reason to stop learning from each other, which is why this type of research is important.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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It's not all cupcakes and lollipops: an investigation of the predictors and effects of prison visitation for children during maternal and paternal incarceration

Description

The purpose of this project is to better understand the factors associated with, and effects of, prison visitation for children during maternal and paternal incarceration. As gatekeepers, caregivers play a

The purpose of this project is to better understand the factors associated with, and effects of, prison visitation for children during maternal and paternal incarceration. As gatekeepers, caregivers play a pivotal role in the facilitation of parent-child prison visitation. Yet, some caregivers may be more likely to take children to visit than others. Additionally, among those children who do visit, visitation may be positive in some ways and negative in others. To advance prior work, this study (1) assesses the relationship between caregiver type and parent-child prison visitation and (2) investigates the emotional and behavioral responses of children who visit. The current research uses mixed-methods and is carried out in two phases. For Phase 1, quantitative data on 984 children collected from structured interviews with incarcerated parents (N=279 mothers; N=143 fathers) in the Arizona Department of Corrections are used to examine the relationship between caregiver type and the likelihood of parent-child prison visitation. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression analyses are conducted separately for maternal and paternal incarceration. Phase 2 draws on caregivers' accounts of 40 children who visit their parent in prison to assess children's emotional and behavioral reactions to visitation. Data are coded to identify positive and negative responses, "visitation paradox" indicators, prior life circumstances and child age. Thematic content analyses are conducted to capture major themes. Analyses from Phase 1 confirm a significant relationship between caregiver type and mother-child and father-child visitation. Other factors that affected the likelihood of parental visitation included child situational factors, parent stressors, institutional barriers and child demographics, although these effects differed depending upon which parent was in prison. Results from Phase 2 revealed overwhelmingly negative responses among children to parental prison visitation. Key themes that accounted for child reactions included institutional context and parental attachment. This research adds to the collateral consequences of incarceration literature by providing greater insight into the imprisonment experience for vulnerable families. Further, these results have direct implications for correctional policy and practice pertaining to the manner and regulation of prison visits and also inform reentry efforts through a family-centric approach.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Sanctioning and Punishment in Prisons: An Examination of the Institutional Disciplinary Response to Formal Inmate Misconduct

Description

Inmate misconduct, and the formal disciplinary proceeding that follow official misconduct, is a common occurrence within correctional institutions. Decisions regarding punishment sanction post-disciplinary proceeding are important because they have direct

Inmate misconduct, and the formal disciplinary proceeding that follow official misconduct, is a common occurrence within correctional institutions. Decisions regarding punishment sanction post-disciplinary proceeding are important because they have direct implications for inmate freedom of movement within the institutional setting, yet this decision point has rarely been the subject of empirical research. Research that does look at this decision point commonly focuses on the presence or absence of a single category of disciplinary punishment – that being solitary confinement or disciplinary segregation. As such, prior research fails to observe the full range of post-disciplinary punishment options.

Addressing this gap in the literature, this study provides the first rigorous empirical examination of the inmate-level characteristics that influence punishment outcome following guilty institutional misconduct proceedings. Guided by criminal sentencing literature, the inmate- level characteristics are divided into groups of legal factors, quasi-legal factors, and extra-legal factors. Representing a significant advancement beyond prior research, this study operationalizes punishment outcome in two ways – as an interval-level ordered sanction severity scale and as individual punishment categories. A series of multivariate models with sample selection corrections are estimated to model the direct and interactive effects of the legal, quasi-legal, and extra-legal inmate characteristics on punishment outcome.

Results of the fully-saturated direct effects models reveal a consistent pattern across both operationalizations of the punishment outcome. The legal factor of misconduct offense and the prosocial behavior quasi-legal factors of working a prison job and program involvement are significantly related to punishment outcomes. The quasi-legal factor representing criminogenic risk and the extra-legal factors of inmate gender and race/ethnicity are not significantly related to punishment outcomes. When the direct effects models re-estimated on samples split by inmate gender and race/ethnicity, however, the extra-legal factors of gender and race/ethnicity condition the effects of some of the legal and quasi-legal factors on punishment outcome. Results of this study suggest that, holding constant the effect of legal misconduct-related factors, disparities exist in post-disciplinary sanctioning based on inmate race/ethnicity and gender.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Eliciting Informative and Accurate Reports of Touching from Children

Description

Many children who testify to alleged sexual abuse struggle to answer questions about touching, likely because attorneys and children may operate under different definitions of “touch.” However, little is known

Many children who testify to alleged sexual abuse struggle to answer questions about touching, likely because attorneys and children may operate under different definitions of “touch.” However, little is known about how children define touch, and the most productive question type for eliciting reports of touching has yet to be determined. In the present investigation, Study 1 examined (N = 64, 5 - 12 years of age) children’s testimonies to identify the sources of misunderstanding when children report abusive touch in court. In light of the language difficulties observed in Study 1, specifically, that attorneys and children appeared to be operating under different definitions of touch, a laboratory study (Study 2) was conducted to examine (N = 95, 4 - 7 years of age) children’s definition of touch, and how children reported touching in response to open-ended wh- questions, compared to close-ended yes
o questions. Body contact (i.e., manual and non-manual touch, compared to touching with an object) was most closely representative of children’s definition of touch. Additionally, children reported touch more often, and provided more informative reports of touch, in response to wh- questions, compared to yes
o questions. These findings demonstrated that children’s definition of touch exists on a scale, and through asking specific, open-ended wh- questions attorneys can elicit reports of touching from children even when definitional discrepancies are present.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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The Politics of Minority Group Control: Assessing the Empirical Validity of the Minority Threat Perspective

Description

Blalock’s (1967) minority threat perspective is one of the most empirically investigated theories of crime control in criminological literature. A large body of research has tested this perspective and established

Blalock’s (1967) minority threat perspective is one of the most empirically investigated theories of crime control in criminological literature. A large body of research has tested this perspective and established a link between minority context and increased criminal justice controls. The perceived threat mechanisms hypothesized to facilitate this link, however, have received relatively scant attention. In addition, no multidimensional scale of perceived minority threat has been developed. These oversights have significantly impeded the advancement of research testing the empirical validity and generalizability of Blalock’s premises across racial and ethnic groups.

Against this backdrop, this dissertation extends prior work by conducting three separate but interrelated studies. The first study focuses on the development and validation of a multidimensional Perceived Latino Threat Scale (PLTS). The second study investigates how the PLTS can inform the relationship between Latino context and punitive border control sentiment. The third and final study assesses the psychometrics of another multidimensional scale of perceived threat—the Perceived Black Threat Scale (PBTS), and examines the structural invariance and distinctness of the PBTS and PLTS.

Using data collected from two college samples, I relied on a variety of different methods across the three empirical studies, including confirmatory factor analyses, bivariate and partial correlation analyses, and ordinary least squares regression. Overall, the findings suggest that both the PLTS and PBTS are multidimensional constructs that are structurally invariant and empirically distinct. In addition, perceived Latino threat significantly influenced punitive border control sentiment, but did not surface as a mediating mechanism linking ethnic context to immigration attitudes. Furthermore, whereas objective Latino population context did not demonstrate significant effects on either perceived Latino threat or punitive border control sentiment, the results emphasized perceived Latino context as a key moderator in the relationship between perceived Latino threat and punitive border control sentiment. Thus, the findings support the multidimensionality of perceived threat, as well as the hypothesized link between perceived threat and punitive controls, but raises key concerns about the generalizability of Blalock’s perspective to explain the threat-control process of Latinos. Implications for theory and research are discussed.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020