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Criminal Justice Presentations

Presentations are listed in alphabetical order by the presenter's last name.

Overcrowding and its Negative Attributes
America is fighting a major crisis when it comes to overcrowding in prisons and jails. According to BBC News, the United States has the highest incarceration rate in this world, and it’s not even close. Our prison population is a little over two million while China, the second largest, has a population of about a million and a half. For the U. S. that is 737 per 100,000 people and for China 118 people per 100,000. To me, those are drastically different. Nationally, overcrowding in correctional systems causes more harm than good. While overcrowding causes immense amounts of violence, it is also a direct response to our nations overuse of imprisonment, high recidivism rates, and lack of commitment to the rehabilitation process.
Presenter: Hailey Bachtell / Mentor: Layton Field, Ph.D.
Characteristics Correlated with Sexual Assault on College Campuses
Sexual assault on college campuses is a prevalent issue in today’s society, with “23.1% of [female undergraduates] and 5.4% of [male undergraduates experiencing] rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation” (RAINN, n.d.). This study aims to conclude what college characteristics contribute to high rates of sexual assault. By using the Campus Safety and Security database I am able to compare sexual assault rates between approximately 130 different universities. Specifically, I am comparing three different variables: university status (public verses private), population size (small, medium, and large), and presence, or lack thereof, of Greek life. Given previous findings, I believe I will conclude that high levels of sexual assault on college campuses is correlated with the influence of Greek life and the common overpopulated public universities. This analysis will include a discussion of policy as it pertains to making college campuses safer.
Presenter: Natalie Berry / Mentor: Layton Field, Ph.D.
Animal Cruelty and its Causes
“Man’s best friend” should be a fitting statement for all humans across the globe; however, this can be the farthest from the truth for some individuals. The issue of animal abuse and cruelty is an extensive concern not just in the U.S., but internationally as well. However, in my major research project, Animal Cruelty and its Causes, I will just be looking at the criminal cases of animal cruelty in Montgomery County Maryland. Being a Police Cadet for the Montgomery County Department of Police allows this study to have case studies and data never calculated. I had the privilege to work with Montgomery County Police’s Animal Services Unit where I not only heard about horrid cases of cruelty but also experienced it firsthand as well. Being able to have such magnificent resources for not only data but information supports my hypothesis that the cause of animal cruelty and abuse is due to the offenders having violent behaviors, a lack of adequate historical legal precedent, or having a mental illness/disorder not properly treated. Within this study I look at variables like age, time of the case, all the way to if the animal unfortunately passed due to the cruelty inflicted. This study shines light on the problem of animal abuse and cruelty which to some is not even seen as a criminal offense.
Presenter: Julia Hammer / Mentor: Layton Field, Ph.D.
Baltimore—“The Greatest City in America”
Long ago Baltimore was named the “Greatest City in America”, but crime rates have continuously risen over the last decades. As Baltimore City’s crime rates and murder rates have spiked up, Baltimore County’s rates have also risen. Unfortunately, the gap in Baltimore City and Baltimore County has continued to expand and there is no exact explanation, but there are statistics that can be used to draw conclusions as to why crime is happening in these two areas. I compared the two areas by obtaining criminal data and geographical data. The statistical data are drawn from the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program and the American Community Survey (ACS) from approximately 2000 to 2018. For proposing the first mechanism, I have collected criminal data from the UCR such as, violent crimes, property crimes, and homicides in Baltimore City and County. I propose the second mechanism with using the ACS, to collect the geographical data such as, population density, unemployment, poverty, race/ethnicity, and education in Baltimore City and County. I hypothesize in one of my hypotheses that population density in Baltimore City is a reason for the abundance amount of crimes and homicides that occurs more rapidly than in Baltimore County. Other hypotheses that will be proposed covers the reasons for using other geographic variables as links to the criminal/homicidal crimes in the two areas. Several of other relationships of patterns between Baltimore City and Baltimore County will be explored. Policy Implications from this research may help reform existing reforms to decrease the rates in these two areas.
Presenter: Ariyon Jennings / Mentor: Layton Field, Ph.D.
Student Awareness of Emergency Management Procedures
There are historical examples of terrorism events that have occurred in high schools, college universities, and public areas- proving that all types of settings are vulnerable to risk. My research project focuses on a hypothesis examining if students are informed, aware, and practicing these emergency management strategies that school campuses have in place. The goal of an emergency plan is to make sure vital information is disseminated in case of the potential of a disaster, and that these plans have already been practiced and can be effectively carried out if needed. My sample group consists of students, including Mount students, who I have surveyed anonymously asking if they are aware of the emergency plans that exist at the Mount and similar questions referring to their knowledge and preparation of these skills. My goal with this research is to examine student awareness of emergency procedures and bring awareness to the importance of this preparedness. I will be using chi square as my research method and to organize data. The overall goal of this research project is to ensure schools are all increasing and enforcing the plans they create, just in case an emergency would happen to their area and students need to know how to react. Emergencies, both natural and man-made, can occur anywhere and preparing for the potential of an emergency can be beneficial not just to students who could be at risk, but to an entire community who could benefit from members of their neighborhood having increased knowledge in preparedness measures.
Presenter: Morgan McCrea / Mentor: Layton Field, Ph.D.
Crime Rates on Holidays Compared to Non-Holidays in Frederick County
Crime is an ongoing inevitability across the globe and is influenced by a variety of means. The research question that I have asked focuses on comparing if there are more crimes committed on holidays associated with drinking than on randomly selected days of a given year. My research focuses on 2018 crime statistics for Frederick County, Maryland. The crime statistics were found by using a publicly accessible website called Maryland Judiciary Case Search. By using the comparative t-test, this research extracts particular types of defined crimes committed on the selected days and the total number of crimes committed in Frederick County during the selected days of that year. The two comparative factors are the ten selected holidays and ten randomly generated days of 2018. The quantitative research approach that I used enabled me to draw conclusions and explore my hypothesis. A conclusion that has been drawn from the research is that there were a significantly low number of violations or report of crimes on holidays, like Christmas Day. In addition, to no surprise there were more law violations on Independence Day. The importance of this research aims to not only compare the crime statistics on the twenty days in 2018, but to evaluate possible explanations for the number of incidents. An explanation for these findings is that drinking alcoholic beverages influences deviant behavior, therefore, increases the likelihood of one to commit a crime.
Presenter: Katie Shugars / Mentor: Layton Field, Ph.D.
Racial Differences in Missing Children
In the United States approximately every 40 seconds a child goes missing. There are more than 460,000 missing children each year, a staggering number of those cases remain cold and unsolved. Imagine having known of the one of the 460,000 children , or let alone be a parent, of a child gone missing. Their sudden disappearance leaves you along with your loved ones emotionally devastated, having an uneasy feeling due to no leads or findings. The negligence of the media, public, and the law towards our country’s missing black girls is a social problem that needs to be addressed. In the spring of 2020 I intend on presenting a major research project examining the link between recovery efforts of missing children based on race difference. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) provides useful information about the resources and recovery efforts of missing children. In 2018 the NCMEC reported that Amber Alerts by race, revealing that 66% of the alerts were for white children and 73% were black children. Although both races were proportionally reported by Amber alerts, the recovery chances for missing black children are drastically unequal. I was able to examine data from the NCMEC, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the National Criminal Justice Reference Service. Through months of extensive research along with examining statistics I found ample support for my hypothesis that the race of a missing child negatively correlates with their recovery efforts. Missing African Americans on average remain missing much longer, or indefinite due to receiving little to none media attention, and assistance from police resources. A child being black lessens the chances of recovery, which is very upsetting because a missing child no matter the race or gender deserves the public outcry, and restless attempts to be found.
Presenter: DeJanee Spraggins / Mentor: Layton Field, Ph.D.

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