Problems and Solutions in U.S. Criminal Justice

Dr Elizabeth Athaide-victor1
1Tiffin University, Tiffin, United States

Abstract 1: Mercedes Benn and Taylor Bruno, Tiffin University  The Difficulties of Law Enforcement: Law Enforcement is a rewarding, but albeit, difficult career.  Law Enforcement officers deal with sometimes unimaginable situations both outside of, and within their ranks.  The question of emotional support opportunities available to law enforcement officers is crucial to performance.  What do officers know about mental health, stress, and resources available to them?  More importantly, if they do know what services are available, do they take advantage of these opportunities in times of need?  What goes into their decision regarding whether or not to avail themselves of support?  The researchers measured officer attitude toward obtaining support when needed.  Researchers designed a 2×2 factorials, between persons, non-repeated measures design to determine whether gender of officer and career longevity (rookies vs veterans) were factors in seeking support.  Results indicated interesting findings and conclusions regarding the direction of support for law enforcement officers.

Abstract 2:  Elizabeth Athaide-Victor, Jessica Iffland, Margaret Tuite, Sarah Devyn Trifari, Tiffin University The Wild, Wild West:  What Will it Take for America to Lose Its Love Affair With Guns?     In the wake of so many high profile shootings and gun violence in general, many in the U.S. are calling for stricter gun control legislation.  This has been met with great resistance and has become a hot button issue.  Organizations such as the National Rifle Association and other pro-gun groups have come under fire for their staunch support of free access to firearms.  While there are shooting almost daily in the U.S., few remedies have been seriously implemented.  Assessing the success of policies that have been undertaken have met with mixed results.  The widespread publicity of the Las Vegas and Parkland shootings have given voice to vocal groups calling for remedies.  In two studies, a pilot study, and main study, various parts of this issue were examined:  First, knowledge and attitudes regarding firearms in the U.S. were examined in a 2×2 factorial, between persons, non-repeated measures design. The main study examined political affiliation, gun ownership status, and gender in a mixed factor 2x2x2 factorial, non-repeated measures design. Part of the results included an interview section for mass shooting remedies.

Abstract 3: Tiffany Turner, Tiffin University  CJ Cultural Competence and Deaf Culture  There have been well documented difficulties for deaf persons throughout the criminal justice system.  These start with encounters from law enforcement, lack of interpreters, poor communication, limited access to attorneys, limited access in the court system, issues in corrections, reentry, etc.  Recently, civil rights organizations such as the ACLU has teamed up with non-profits, and state Civil Rights Commissions to level the playing field and have equal access to the legal system for the deaf/hard of hearing community.

The researcher in this study assessed deaf culture and law enforcement in Ohio.  A 2x2x2 mixed factor, between persons, non-repeated measures design was used to determine knowledge, attitudes, and preparedness of large and small police departments.  Attitudes and knowledge of individuals within and outside of deaf culture were assessed, and analyzed along with gender differences.  An interview portion of the study was also included.  Results revealed striking legal situations, and focused on need-based corrective actions for the legal community.

Abstract 4:  Sarah Devyn Trifari Tiffin University Attention Deficit: The School-to-Prison Pipeline and how to interrupt its Path The School-to-Prison Pipeline has been discussed for many years. The pipeline is where problem students are funneled into the criminal justice system directly from schools. There are many contributors to this phenomenon, but whatever the cause, it is taking center stage in many school systems. Out of school suspensions have increased ten percent from the previous decade, and have doubled since the 1970s.  A study in Texas revealed that children under suspensions are more likely to be held back or drop out of school entirely.  An MIT study found that 40 percent of kids who went into juvenile detention ended up in prison by the age of 25. Proposed remedies could be preventative or interruptive along the pipeline in nature.  This research focused on foundational theories in social sciences/criminal justice such as attachment theory and contact theory.  The study was a 2x2x2 mixed measure, factorial, between persons, non-repeated measures design examining parental parenting style, divorce, gender, and internal analyses of IEP/teacher attachment.  Results indicated significant differences in the likelihood of the development of delinquent behavior.

Abstract 5: Elizabeth Athaide-Victor, Madeline Blouir, Martha Jerew, Olivia Osborn, Breanna Steiff, Tiffin University  Seeing Red: Correctional Reform and the Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act The fastest growing segment of prison population is women.  Yet, they continue to be ‘absent from the table’ when discussions of prison reform occur. A prime example of this originated in the Arizona prison system, which supplies women incarcerants with 12 feminine hygiene products a month.  This was not enough for inmates.  The correctional system allowed women to buy products, but the cost was determined that they would have had to work 27 hrs (at their rate of pay) to be able to afford to buy them.  An all-male panel was assembled to look into the issue.  The panel determined they would not hear a bill addressing this.  This prompted women from all over Arizona to mail in feminine products to elected officials in protest.  In July 2017, Senators Booker and Warren introduced the Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act, aimed at a multitude of issues incarcerated women face.  The authors of this research outline in great detail some of the issues female incarcerants face. They conducted a mixed factor 2x2x3 design examining several variables of concern such as gender, attitude, and knowledge regarding female incarcerants. Results indicated there was a direct bearing on variables and practices of state DOCs.


Mercedes Benn and Taylor Bruno, Tiffin University: authors are graduate students in the Master Forensic psychology program

Elizabeth Athaide-Victor, faculty, Forensic Psychology program Jessica Iffland, Margaret Tuite, Sarah Devyn Trifari, Tiffin University

Tiffany Turner, Tiffin University

Madeline Blouir, Martha Jerew, Olivia Osborn, Breanna Steiff, Tiffin University:  all authors are in Tiffin University Forensic Psychology Program


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