Criminology and Criminal Justice
<P>The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Indiana State University has as its major goal to discover new knowledge and to assist the community in solving problems while providing all of its students a sound liberal arts education with a focus on understanding criminal behavior, the criminal justice system, mechanisms of social control and their relationship to society. Students electing to major in criminology and criminal justice are prepared for careers in the criminal justice field as well as for entry into law school or a graduate program in criminology or a related discipline. The wide variety of courses offered enables each student to determine his or her program in terms of interests and aspirations. An integral part of the criminology and criminal justice program is the internship which allows students to gain a clearer understanding of criminal justice agencies.<P>
Are the Mara Salvatrucha and 18th Street Gangs a Threat to Our National SecurityThis study focuses on the two predominantly Latino gangs, Mara Salvatrucha (aka MS-13), and the 18th Street Gang, operating on the streets of communities across America. This study is significant because it will provide information about how these violent gangs operate in ways that can inform and alert both civilian society and government agencies concerning optimal responses to the problems created by these gangs. Through a quantitative and qualitative analysis of documentary evidence and governmental statistics about the Mara Salvatrucha and 18th Street Gang, this study developed several conclusive findings on the negative effects of these groups in the United States. The Mara Salvatrucha and 18th Street Gang are becoming transnational criminal organizations, given the fact that they originated in Central America and Mexico and have since expanded their operations abroad. Despite efforts by national and international law enforcement to curtail these gangs’ criminal behaviors, they maintain their ties with their gang associates in these countries. Moreover, gang members engage in criminal activities that were highly organized. They also moved through networks that continued to gain sophistication. Drug trafficking, gun running, violence, robbery, extortion are some of the heinous crimes committed by these groups. These gangs disturb peace and order in the community, destroy personal property and endanger the lives of citizens. These two gangs may establish an organized criminal enterprise capable of coordinating illegal activities across national borders. Nonetheless, with complete disregard to the laws of this land, including immigration laws, these groups are considered a threat to the security of the country, but this level is considered comparable to any highly organized street gang that supports its activities with criminal enterprises. In sum, the dangers posed by Mara Salvatrucha and the 18th Street Gang, as well as other comparable criminal organizations should not be underestimated.
Immigration, Politics, Social Discord and Criminality in ItalyThe initial studies concerned with immigration in modern Italy emerged in the 1970s. They provided basic statistical information regarding the national origins, gender, religious identity, and racial and ethnic make-up of the migrants. As such immigration studies were commonly written within the framework of human rights, they were politicized in ways which often unveiled the political slant of researchers. Italian studies which touched upon immigration’s relationship to criminality similarly demonstrated that questions regarding crime and migration are intertwined with contemporary Italian politics. Thus published studies which analyze immigration, crime and imprisonment often reflect the political bias of the researchers. By looking directly at Parliamentary laws and regulations, as well as analyzing government reports on immigration, crime and prisons, however, this study seeks to provide a non-partisan summary of immigration’s true impact on law and crime in Italy. Key to the unbiased assessment of the relationship of immigration to social discord is the objective analysis of the statistical evidence provided in government reports on penitentiaries, crime and immigration. Therefore, though fully reviewing scholarly publications, this study depends in a fundamental way on statistical evidence regarding crimes and criminals as provided by the Italian Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Justice and Department of Penitentiaries. In particular, to further explore the link between immigration and crime on a macro-level, this study seeks the aggregate impact of immigration on criminality by paying particular attention to the Italian government’s statistical reports covering the period from the early 1990s through January 2012. While scholarly literature has not provided definitive proof linking immigration to increased crime rates, this study suggests that statistical evidence clearly demonstrates that immigrants do in fact constitute an alarmingly high percentage of those incarcerated in the Italian penitentiary system. Increased immigration has thus led to the imprisonment of large numbers of immigrants who have turned to criminality. A preliminary explanation offered herein suggests the significantly high immigration incarceration rates result from: the continued flow of massive numbers of immigrants into a nation socially and economy unprepared to deal with massive migration; governmental inability (largely due to a polarized national debate over whether it is necessary to stem massive immigration or not) to forge a comprehensive immigration policy which seeks to rationalize immigration laws; lack of legal jobs available to illegal immigrants and the concomitant existence of ample criminal opportunities to meet immigrants’ daily needs.
The effectiveness of group interventions in reducing the level of bullying behaviors in middle school settings.Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior where one or more individuals seek to harm or disturb another who may be perceived as being unable to defend themselves(Smokowski & Kopasz,2005).Without intervention,bullying can have long-lasting effects including deceased social skills,low self-esteem,depression,and anxiety.To address this issue,state and federal governments are beginning to take an anti-bullying approach in the schools(Limber & Small,2003).Interventions to reduce bullying at the individual,group,and school level have been developed.The present study focuses on the effectiveness of group social skills interventions in reducing bullying and victimization in the middle school setting.The main objective was to determine if this was an effective method for reducing these behaviors within the middle school population.School officials referred students to social skills groups.Students were placed into groups by grade,and were assessed at pre-test and post-test.Students rated their level of social skills by completing the Social skills Rating System and their bullying behaviors by completing the Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire.School officials were asked to complete the Social Skills Rating System to rate student's levels of social skills.While students did not report significant changes in their social skills,they did report a significant decrease in bullying behavior.Results revealed there were no statistically significant differences for gender or grade.In addition,student's reported social skills did not significantly increase following the intervention.
Walking ATM’S: a Criminological Examination of Hispanic Robbery Victimization Pre and Post Hurricane Katrina in Metropolitan New OrleansThe Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina sparked the largest influx of Hispanic laborers in the metropolitan New Orleans area ever recorded in Louisiana’s history. Inhabiting impoverished neighborhoods with minimal resources, unable to speak the language and illegal in status, may prime this migrant class as vulnerable targets of robbery. Hence, robberies against Hispanics have increased in Jefferson Parish, which is the basis for the present study. The intention of this research is to ascertain whether such robbery victims sustain greater secondary violence during the commission of the crime than that of Non-Hispanics and also if geographic confinement is contributory factor to Hispanics being robbed.
Professors with Criminal Records: Criminology & Criminal Justice Students Views on Former Convicts as ProfessorsAs America’s incarceration binge begins its fourth decade, one unintended consequence of this social policy has been a growing number of criminologists/sociologists who have personal experience with incarceration as many former convicts have been pursuing education as an avenue for successful re-entry. Some of these ex-convicts have begun to secure PhD’s and have been conducting research as well as teaching various university courses in Sociology and/or Criminology and Criminal Justice. Within this thesis the myths maintained by society surrounding crime and prisoners will be discussed. Using survey research, students majoring in Criminology and Criminal Justice (n = 186) at ISU were asked (1) how they would feel to discover that their professor had a criminal record and (2) would they knowingly enroll in a course that an ex-con was teaching? Also, by using an attribution scale, student perceptions on causes of crime will be examined. The findings from this research suggest that most Criminology and Criminal Justice students would welcome professors with a criminal history into the classroom.