Matching Items (21)

153825-Thumbnail Image.png

Toward the development of a multidimensional legal cynicism scale

Description

Legal cynicism, a concept that reflects how individuals feel about the law, can be linked to different theoretical traditions. However, inconsistencies in the way legal cynicism is operationalized abound. This

Legal cynicism, a concept that reflects how individuals feel about the law, can be linked to different theoretical traditions. However, inconsistencies in the way legal cynicism is operationalized abound. This study aimed to develop a more complete and psychometrically-sound measure of legal cynicism. Factor-analytic procedures were used on a sample of 502 undergraduate university students to create the scale and to test its directional accuracy. Using promax-rotated principal-axis factor analysis, a 4 dimensional factor structure emerged—legal apathy, legal corruption, legal discrimination, and low legal legitimacy. The 21-item scale has a high level of internal consistency (Cronbach’s α = .85; mean inter-item r = .58). Results from ordinary least squares regression models confirmed that the multidimensional legal cynicism scale is significantly correlated with criminal offending (β = .34, p < .001), net of low self-control and demographic characteristics.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

153824-Thumbnail Image.png

Examining the potential for racial/ethnic disparities in use of force during NYPD stop and frisk activities

Description

Since the 1990s, stop and frisk activities have been a cornerstone of the New York Police Department (NYPD). The manner in which the NYPD has carried out stop, question, and

Since the 1990s, stop and frisk activities have been a cornerstone of the New York Police Department (NYPD). The manner in which the NYPD has carried out stop, question, and frisks (SQFs), however, has been a focal point of discussion, resulting in public outrage and two major lawsuits. Recently, the Federal District Court Judge ruled that the NYPD was engaging in unconstitutional stop-and-frisk practices that targeted predominately Black and Latino New Yorkers. Questions surrounding the NYPD’s SQF practices have almost exclusively focused on racial and ethnic disproportionality in the rate of stops without necessarily considering what transpired during the stop. This study will fill that void by examining the prevalence and nature of use of force during those stops, along with testing the minority threat hypothesis. By combining micro-level measures from the NYPD’s 2012 “Stop, Question, and Frisk” database with macro-level variables collected from the United States Census Bureau, the current study examines police use of force in the context of SQF activities. The results should help judges, policy makers, police officers, and scholars understand the nature of police use of force in the context of SQFs.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

158491-Thumbnail Image.png

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.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

153866-Thumbnail Image.png

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

Description

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

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.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

153995-Thumbnail Image.png

Gender Disparity and Ecological Contexts of Court Coummunity in Federal District Courts

Description

Gender disparity in sentencing outcomes has a long tradition in sentencing literature, with a substantial body of evidence indicating that women offenders are treated with greater leniency over male counterparts.

Gender disparity in sentencing outcomes has a long tradition in sentencing literature, with a substantial body of evidence indicating that women offenders are treated with greater leniency over male counterparts. The prior literature on gender and sentencing, however, has ignored broader social contexts within which judicial decision-making occurs. This dissertation attempts to address this limitation by dissecting the nature of gender disparity through ecological lenses. Using federal sentencing data for FY 2001 through 2010 and other complementary data sets, this dissertation, divided into two major sub-studies, has examined the roles of two social contextual variables, such as religioius and political conservatism, in producing gender differentials in sentencing outcomes.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

154224-Thumbnail Image.png

Prosecutorial discretion across federal sentencing reforms: immediate and enduring effects of unwarranted disparity

Description

Contemporary research has examined the relationship between determinate sentencing reforms and unwarranted punishment disparities in states and the federal criminal justice system. Recent investigations suggest that legal developments in federal

Contemporary research has examined the relationship between determinate sentencing reforms and unwarranted punishment disparities in states and the federal criminal justice system. Recent investigations suggest that legal developments in federal sentencing—namely, the High Court’s rulings in U.S. v. Booker (2005) and Gall/Kimbrough v. U.S. (2007) which rendered and subsequently reaffirmed the federal guidelines as advisory—have not altered disparities associated with imprisonment outcomes. Punishment disparities following Booker and Gall, particularly racial and ethnic disparities, have been linked to Assistant U.S. Attorneys’ (AUSAs) use of substantial assistance departures. What remains unanswered in the literature is whether the changes in AUSAs’ decision making following the landmark cases has enduring effects and whether the effects are conditioned by defendants’ race/ethnicity and the type of case (guidelines cases or mandatory minimum cases), and whether the use of substantial assistance varies across U.S. District Courts.

Accordingly, these questions are examined using sentencing data from the U.S. Sentencing Commission, coupled with data from the National Judicial Center, U.S. Census Bureau, Uniform Crime Reports, and Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. This study looks at 465,476 defendants convicted from fiscal year 2001 to fiscal year 2010 across 89 federal districts. A series of multilevel discontinuity regression models are estimated to assess the short-term and long-term effects of the Booker and Gall/Kimbrough decisions on AUSAs’ use of substantial assistance departures, accounting for contextual differences between federal district courts.

The results show that AUSAs are less likely to seek motions for substantial assistance immediately and in the long term in the post-Booker period but are more likely to seek substantial assistance in the long term in the post-Gall/Kimbrough period. These effects, however, are restricted to the models that include all cases and guidelines cases. The interaction models show that Hispanic defendants facing a mandatory minimum sentence are less likely to receive a substantial assistance departure immediately and in the long term following the Court’s Booker decision. Moreover, the use of substantial assistance varies across federal districts. The results are discussed in relation to their implications for theory, courts and sentencing policy, and future research on punishment outcomes.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

156373-Thumbnail Image.png

Public mass shootings impact on the public's firearm carrying habits: evidence of a moral panic

Description

Public mass shootings occur at a rate in the U.S. that is higher than any other developed country. These event initiate wide spread media attention. The media attention these events

Public mass shootings occur at a rate in the U.S. that is higher than any other developed country. These event initiate wide spread media attention. The media attention these events achieve have shown to impact the public behavior (e.g., increased firearm sales). However, the impact public mass shootings have on firearm storage and carry habits of the public is not well understood. Using data collected from the Transportation Security Administration, this study examines how mass shootings have led to moral panics occurring within the U.S. through the examination of the firearm carrying habits among the population immediately following mass shootings. The results indicate that loaded firearms with rounds in the chamber detected by the TSA have significantly increased since 2012. Further, firearms detected immediately following a public mass shooting had a higher proportion of firearms loaded with a round in the chamber relative to 7 days prior to the shooting. Moreover, the increase in proportions of firearms found loaded with a round in the chamber exponentially decays as days past the initial shooting, these events occur at a higher rate than the decay rate can normalize these occurrences. I conclude that in the wake of these shootings a moral panic ensues that is partially responsible for the change in the general public’s arming configuration habits. Further research is needed in to determine the impact on crime, and public health related issues due to this change in the public’s firearm carrying habits.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

153693-Thumbnail Image.png

The effect of racial microaggressions on Latinas: student perceptions, reactions, and coping mechanisms

Description

Interpersonal racial discrimination is positively associated with poor mental health outcomes in a number of marginalized groups across the United States (Brondolo, et al., 2008). This paper examines how racial

Interpersonal racial discrimination is positively associated with poor mental health outcomes in a number of marginalized groups across the United States (Brondolo, et al., 2008). This paper examines how racial discrimination affects the self-esteem, self-worth, and racial pride of Latinas using interview data from a purposive sample of students. The objectives of this study are: (a) to better understand the effects of racial microaggressions on young Latinas’ construction of self, (b) to explicate how these self-perceptions influence deviant behavior and maladaptive thought processes, drawing on strain and discrimination literatures, and (c) to examine the protective mechanisms Latinas employ with friends and family as a response to racial discrimination. Findings indicated that respondents experienced racial discrimination through a variety of channels, from negative stereotypes to feeling a distinct prejudice in academic settings. Participants utilized numerous coping mechanisms to deal with such encounters, most of which emphasized the importance of drawing strength from Hispanic values, culture, and language during times of adversity.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

153839-Thumbnail Image.png

Moving beyond anger and depression: the effects of anxiety and envy on maladaptive coping

Description

General Strain Theory (GST) posits that different types of strain lead to different types of negative emotions, some of which increase the likelihood of maladaptive coping. Much research on GST

General Strain Theory (GST) posits that different types of strain lead to different types of negative emotions, some of which increase the likelihood of maladaptive coping. Much research on GST has focused on anger and depression. Far less attention has been directed toward other negative emotions, including anxiety and envy. The current study uses cross-sectional data from surveys administered to a university-based sample (N = 500) to address these voids and explore gender differences in the effects of strain and negative emotions in maladaptive coping. Results indicate that when gender differences existed in levels of strain and negative emotions, females experienced higher levels than males. Strain significantly predicted all four measures of negative emotions examined in this study. Finally, different negative emotions were found to have differing effects on different measures of maladaptive coping. Implications of this study for theory, future research, and policy are discussed.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

152457-Thumbnail Image.png

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

Description

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

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.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014