Recent Submissions

  • Fact Or Fiction: Investigating Whether The CSI Effect Is A Valid Concern Or Popular Myth

    Curcio, Gina; Santana, Anthony (2022-05-01)
    Prosecutors have attributed an increase in juror expectations and demands for more scientific evidence (i.e., DNA, fingerprints) in criminal trials to the CSI effect. They believe that TV shows like CSI have influenced juror perception of how criminal investigations are carried out and their understanding of evidence, which has resulted in higher demands for scientific evidence in the courtroom. To investigate this claim of a rise in expectations and demands for scientific evidence, this research study conducted an anonymous, self-administered, online survey consisting of 17 questions that was administered Salem State University undergraduate and graduate students from all different disciplines (n = 90). The survey collected demographic data as well as more specific information about students’ crime-based TV show (both fiction-based and reality-based) viewing habits and their demands for scientific evidence in certain cases. Comparisons were then made between viewers of fiction-based crime TV shows and reality-based crime TV shows to see if there was any significant difference regarding their expectations and demands for scientific evidence. The results indicated that both viewers of fiction-based crime TV shows and viewers of reality-based crime TV shows had very similar expectations and demands for scientific evidence in criminal trials. Therefore, the present study found no correlation between watching fiction-based crime shows and higher demands for scientific evidence as most respondents understood the inaccuracies portrayed in fiction-based TV shows.
  • The Effect Of Music Therapy Programs On Inmates' Anxiety, Depression, And Self-Esteem

    Howerton-Orcutt, Amanda; Robblee, Molly (2022-05-01)
    The use of music therapy as a correctional rehabilitation technique remains a relatively unexplored field. In particular, the effect that music therapy may pose on inmates’ mental health – specifically anxiety, depression, and self-esteem – is a fairly new topic of research. This literature review compares ten studies on music therapy programs in correctional facilities from six authors across the globe. The studies were analyzed and compared to determine if there is a significant relation between participation in music therapy programs and improvements in participants’ anxiety, depression, and self-esteem based on state-approved evaluations or traits closely linked to the mental illnesses. Overall, the data on the subject matter is inconclusive, for there is not enough information to support a significant relation between participation in music therapy and inmates’ mental health, and further research on the topic is warranted.
  • Maximum Sentencing Under Section 35

    Booth, Jeb; Slayton, Chrysta (2015-05-01)
    The Massachusetts General Law Chapter 123 Section 35 allows a person to be involuntarily committed into a treatment facility for drug/alcohol abuse for a maximum of 90 days if suspected to pose an immediate risk to themselves or others. This law changed on July 1st, 2012 when it was previously a maximum of 30 days. A further look will be taken into what precipitating factors led the legislature to extend the maximum sentence, and what effect this has had on the treatment of the men in the facility. This research takes a step inside a facility where Section 35’s are sent, and breaks down the issues that lead the men into this facility. In addition, survey results will be presented that show which drugs have proven themselves most problematic in leading to the forced detox. Recommendations will be presented on how the Section 35 process could be improved, as viewed from the opinions of the men in the facility, psychologists who recommend the detox, clinicians of the facility, and Senator Jen Flanagan, who recently led a panel discussion on the Section 35 process.
  • Correspondence by Serial Killers: A Review

    Kuehnle, Kristen; Sherman, Katie (2013-12-01)
    I will be reviewing characteristics and letters written to other serial killers during the same time frame that Charles Manson's followers were killing for him. The purpose of this review is to determine whether Charles Manson has similar characteristics. The sample will be white males because Charles Manson was Caucasian. This criterion will control for my error margin. White males have committed the majority of serial killings and there is more literature on them than female serial killers or non-white serial killers. This review will be to identify patterns between other serial killer's characteristics and see if they are present in Charles Manson or not. This information will be vital when it comes to my conclusion about whether or not Charles Manson should be considered a serial killer, even though he never performed any of the killings himself.
  • Dog and Shield: The Buffering Effect K-9s Have on Police Officer Strain

    Booth, Jeb; Dever, Shea (2015-05-01)
    According to General Strain Theory, suicide, drug/alcohol abuse and violence are the result of maladaptive coping strategies in response to strain (Agnew, 1992). This study looks at categories of Po-lice Officer stress in congruence with Agnew’s categories of strain: failure to achieve positively valued goals, the presence of noxious situations or events, and the removal of positively valued stimuli (Agnew, 1992; Menard & Arter, 2013). It then measures the consequences of strain, both emotional and physical, in the officers involved in the study, and compares the results with the officers’ access to both emotional and instrumental support systems. The police “code of silence” subculture regarding mental health issues often leaves those officers who are struggling on the job with no one or nothing to turn to for help. Consequently, alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence, on-the-job violence and suicide are prevalent issues among law enforcement officers. This study will compare the buffering effect on stress and strain that the presence of a dog, both on and off the job, has on law enforcement officers. Dogs may serve as an intervening variable in the relationship between strain and negative behaviors. It is expected that having a permanent K-9 unit in each department would have a positive effect on police officer health and well-being by providing social and emotion-al support. Therefore, the use of K-9 units as a stress management tool as well as a law enforcement tool will also be discussed.
  • Juvenile Delinquency and General Strain Theory

    Girgen, Jen; Levesque, Madison (2020-05-01)
    People become aware of crime within their communities, but they often do not know why it occurs, especially when the offender is a minor. In 2018, there were 728,280 juvenile arrests, and arrest rates have been continuously declining since 2006 (Puzzanchera, 2019). This is in addition to the unknown delinquent offenses that did not result in arrest. By examining risk factors and real-life cases of delinquency, this manuscript seeks to better understand what causes juvenile delinquency, or crimes committed by those under age 18, by applying the fundamentals of General Strain Theory. General Strain Theory, developed by Robert Agnew, is an extension of Robert Merton’s Strain Theory. The main focus of General Strain Theory is on one’s negative relationships with other individuals. General Strain Theory is the only major theory that solely focuses on negative relationships and argues that delinquency occurs as a result of these negative relationships. According to Agnew (1992), strain follows when others “(1) prevent one from achieving their positively valued goals, (2) remove or threaten to remove positively valued stimuli that one possesses, or (3) present or threaten to present one with negatively valued stimuli” (p. 50). As with all criminal behavior, juvenile crime may be caused by multiple factors, but perhaps General Strain Theory can help us understand much of it.
  • “We Take These Things Very Seriously”: Highlighting the Issue of Unreported Sexual Assault at Colleges and Local Universities

    Tucker, Paul; Felt, Watanya (2020-05-01)
    Colleges and Universities alike can make it quite difficult for someone looking to report an instance or multiple instances of sexual misconduct. Often students who do report are faced with/subjected to humiliation, disapproval, or even reprehension. A component of my thesis work was the ongoing development of a website. This website hopes to shed some light on this prevalent issue and increase the awareness of the growing rate of sexual assault on both college and university campuses, while ultimately changing future practices when it comes to dealing with instances of sexual misconduct at that level. The most unique part of this website is that it is completely anonymous, so anything shared by users is free of sensitive and or personally identifiable information. The written portion of this thesis seeks to provide more insight into the developmental processes of this digital component and in addition, provide a well-attuned explanation for much of the decision making behind the finalized product. The primary sources used in my research and website development include an array of scholarly sources, primary statistical sources, academic journals, and documentaries.
  • Is Alternative Sentencing More Beneficial Than Incarceration: A Focus On Juveniles

    Booth, Jeb; Millett, Molly (2018-01-01)
    This thesis seeks to explain the importance of alternative sentencing for juvenile delinquents. It discusses the risk factors which contribute to the reasoning behind why juveniles commit crime. The process which a juvenile goes through in the court system and the differences between traditional sentencing and non-traditional sentencing is explained. Different types of alternative sanctions are described as well as the benefits of them. Juvenile justice and the use of alternative sentencing in various countries are discussed and compared to those of the United States. This thesis has been developed to discuss and explain the benefits of alternative sentencing and the lasting effects prison has on juveniles.
  • Fear or Love: Examining Stockholm Syndrome and the Elizabeth Smart Kidnapping Case

    Robinson, Jennifer; McLaughlin, Christen (2016-05-01)
    Imagine being taken from your home, family, friends and the entire life you once knew by a stranger. Now becoming the victim of constant violent and brutal assaults both physical and sexual. During this you are being denied proper sanitation, shelter, food and water by this very same person. Next imagine caring for this very same person to the extent that when you have an ability to escape and leave you chose not to do so. Does this sound insane? But that is the very essence of Stockholm syndrome. In this thesis I will examine the psychological phenomenon of Stockholm syndrome and how it applies to the kidnapping case of Elizabeth Smart.