Criminology & Criminal Justice Theses and Dissertations

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    An Analysis of the Correlation Between the Attitude, Belief, Opinion, and Demographic Components of Voluntary Forfeiture of One's Fourth Amendment Constitutional Right in Order to Permit Police Officers the use of New Concealed Weapons Detection Technology
    (2002) Vann, Diane Hill Esq.; Wellford, Charles; Criminology & Criminal Justice; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, MD)
    The primary purpose of the study is to determine and analyze relationships between the major components of the participants' opinions, attitudes, and beliefs as to the effectiveness and willingness of individuals to voluntarily forfeit their Fourth Amendment Constitutional rights to permit the use of the new Concealed Weapons Detection Technology ("CWDT"). The new CWDT, as described in this study is capable of performing hands-off, non-intrusive body searches for contraband such as plastic explosives, drugs, and concealed weapons, specifically concealed guns. The study questions that Constitutionality of permitting police officers the use of such CWDT, and the Constitutionality of one's voluntary forfeiture of a Constitutional right to permit such use. Data collected for the study is from 100 residents of Madison, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C., aged 18 years or older. The study analyzes Frequencies, Crosstabs, Chi Square, and Pearson's (r) and Spearman's (rs). The study although conducted before September 11, 2001, found that crime and terror remain great oppressors in the Nation, and that citizens are desparate for a resolution. The study reveals that the great majority of the study participants consider CWDT a positive solution.
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    The Effects of Police Systems and Their Environments on Police Homicides: An Exploratory Analysis
    (1988) Taylor-Greene, Helen Elizabeth; Wellford, Charles; Criminology & Criminal Justice; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, MD)
    The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of police systems and their environments on police homicides. Data from five sources, the Crime Control Institute, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Joint Center for Political Studies, Police Executive Research Forum, and the United States Bureau of the Census were used to create the database which included information on police systems, their environments and reported police homicides. This study provided an exploratory analysis of the effect, if any, of the following on police homicides: (1) police administrative review and investigation policies, (2) firearms training standards, (3 ) police system resources (4) demographic community characteristics, (5 ) political community characteristics, and (6 ) community crime characteristics. The most significant findings of the research were the following: (1) In a multivariate analysis of police homicides, the civilian homicide rate was the best predictor of police homicides. (2) There was no significant association between restrictiveness of review and investigation policies (Control), moral, legal and ethical aspects of firearms training, financial resources or education of sworn personnel and police homicides. (3) Race as a system environment variable was correlated with other environment variables at the zero order level but not significant in the multivariate analyses. (4) Civilian Homicides, Race, Black Political Empowerment and Family Ratio were moderately associated with police homicides at the zero order level. (5) Demographic characteristics had little, if any, effect on police homicides. (6) Interjurisdictional variation existed not only in police homicides but also in system management, resources and environments. These findings suggest that police system environmental factors are the best predictors of police homicides. While police departments should continue to strengthen the internal management of police homicides through policies and training, they should include other approaches to controlling and preventing police homicides. One approach should be the development of a model program to educate officers and civilians on police use of deadly force. These programs should focus on (1) attitudes and fears of police officers towards Black citizens and vice versa (2) human relations training and (3) the role of community violence in police violence. The systematic collection and dissemination of police homicide data is essential to future police use of force research. The data should include fatal and nonfatal shootings and be easily accessible. Future research should examine race as an organizational factor. Analyses of the effect, if any, of racial attitudes of police officers and racial composition of police departments on police homicides are needed.
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    Anti-LGBTQ Hate Crime and Place in Washington, DC: A Multilevel Analysis
    (2023) Kindall, Casey; Vélez, María B; Criminology and Criminal Justice; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    The current study assesses how neighborhood-level LGBTQ prevalence, concentrated disadvantage, residential mobility, and racial diversity and the micro-spatial presence of LGBTQ establishments uniquely and jointly predict anti-LGBTQ hate crime. Extant research utilizes neighborhood-level explanations of crime to understand anti-LGBTQ hate crime but does not account for the influence of opportunity at the micro-place, and particularly the role of LGBTQ establishments as facilitators of anti-LGBTQ crime opportunity, for understanding where anti-LGBTQ hate crimes occur. The current study uses official hate crime data, demographic data from the US Census Bureau, and publicly available data on the location of LGBTQ-centered establishments to assess the roles of neighborhood-level and micro-spatial predictors of anti-LGBTQ hate crime in Washington, DC from 2017 to 2019. Results suggest that more anti-LGBTQ hate crimes occur in places with higher LGBTQ prevalence, more residential mobility, and more LGBTQ establishments. Residential mobility also interacts with the presence of LGBTQ establishments. Findings indicate that LGBTQ establishments are associated with more risk of hate crime in less mobile (i.e., more stable) neighborhoods.
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    The Ethno-Racial Divide in Neighborhood Crime Change: The Role of City Segregation and Immigration (2000-2013)
    (2023) Sahani, Shradha; Velez, Maria; Criminology and Criminal Justice; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Despite continuing crime declines in the early 2000s, the ethno-racial divide in neighborhood crime remains a durable feature of American city life. During this period, cities also transformed in drastic ways, two of which were through decreasing levels of Black/White (B/W) residential segregation and increasing immigration. City levels of immigration may interact with the continuing deleterious influence of B/W segregation to shape how different neighborhoods fare in this continuing crime decline and explain the disparate levels of crime decline evidenced across ethno-racial neighborhoods. With panel data (2000-2013) from the National Neighborhood Crime Study, I use fixed effects linear regressions to examine how changing city-level immigration and B/W segregation work together to shape neighborhood crime change for ethno-racial neighborhoods. My findings suggest that when in cities with increasing segregation and immigration, durably Black neighborhoods have smaller associated crime declines compared to all other ethno-racial neighborhoods. Additionally, durably Black neighborhoods only experience the crime reduction benefits of increasing immigration in cities when B/W residential segregation drastically declines.
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    Dissecting the Dark Figure of Dis/ablist Violence: Intersectional Variations in Reporting Across Dis/ability Types
    (2023) Castillo, Isabella Elena; Hitchens, Brooklynn; Criminology and Criminal Justice; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Individuals with dis/abilities are at a heightened risk for lifelong violent victimization. Although victimized by the same types of crimes as non-dis/abled individuals, a deeper examination reveals dis/abled individuals experience unique circumstances that increase opportunities for victimization and barriers to reporting. Using data from the National Crime Victimization Survey from 2017-2020, the present study seeks to understand how intersecting identities (dis/ability, race, ethnicity, and gender) affect the likelihood of reporting violent victimization to the police across types of dis/ability (hearing, vision, cognitive, and physical). Findings indicate statistically significant associations between Black individuals with cognitive dis/abilities and other or mixed racial/ethnic females with cognitive dis/abilities with reporting outcomes. Results inform policy and practice regarding the critical need for solutions that consider the impact intersecting identities have on reporting violent victimization across dis/ability types.