Students and faculty present at regional criminal justice conference

Left to right: Mustafa Icer, Yusuf Baktir, Chris Guerra and Kaleigh LairdHPS faculty and students represented UNT at the Southwestern Association of Criminal Justice conference in Fort Worth October 13-14.

Jessica Craig, Ph.D., assistant professor of criminal justice and doctoral students from HPS’s Public Administration department Mustafa Icer and Yusuf Baktir presented their research titled Military and Crime: A systematic review of the literature.

Kaleigh Laird, criminal justice master’s student and Adam Trahan, Ph.D., associate professor of criminal justice and graduate coordinator, presented their research titled The Effects of Racism and Locus Control on Death Penalty Support. The presentation received the first place award in the conference’s Graduate Student Paper Competition. Laird’s major points were:

“Research has shown that death penalty opinions are shaped in part by racial attitudes and beliefs regarding locus of control. We suspect that these two constructs interact in complex ways to shape peoples’ attitudes toward capital punishment. To begin exploring this possibility, we analyze data from the Cumulative File of the General Social Survey. Respondents’ attitudes toward capital punishment were regressed on a measure of attributional racism and standard control variables. Findings showed that respondents who believe racial inequalities are due to internal attributes are more likely to favor the death penalty.”

Kaleigh Laird with her awardCriminal justice master’s student Chris Guerra and Trahan presented research titled An Overview of Body Camera Literature. Guerra’s major findings were:

 “Given its relatively new position in the law enforcement landscape, there is much debate about body camera effectiveness. Though the research on this topic is in its infancy, the majority of extant research reveals a negative correlation between body camera use and officer misconduct. The current study conducted a systematic review of the literature to better understand the link between body camera implementation and policing misconduct. Several methodological limitations were identified, including contamination, attrition, and technological challenges. Methods to address these issues and goals for future research are also addressed.”

Brooke Nodeland, Ph.D., assistant professor of criminal justice and Mark Saber, Ph.D., lecturer, presented their collaborative research titled Student and Faculty Attitudes towards Campus Carry.