Criminology - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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Are bosses brokers? A network approach to leadership in organized crime

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-05-25
Abstract: 

Although research has been conducted on leaders of various types of organizations, there are concerns that such research cannot be generalized to organized crime groups. Using data provided by the Criminal Intelligence Service of Alberta, the current study adopts a social network approach to analyzing leadership in organized crime in Alberta, Canada. More specifically, it looks at whether leadership status can be used to predict centrality. Understanding the network centrality of leaders can help shed light on what leaders do, how they behave, and who they talk to, which in turn allows law enforcement to more effectively plan and assess the appropriateness of intervention strategies against organized crime groups. While past studies have used centrality measures to predict leadership, I argue that centrality comes with the territory of being a leader. Results indicated that leadership status was a significant positive predictor of both degree centrality and betweenness centrality.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Martin Bouchard
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

X̱aaydaG̱a Tll Yahda TllG̱uhlG̱a Decolonizing justice: The formation of a Haida justice system

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-05-06
Abstract: 

The imposition of colonial governance, law, and justice superseded Indigenous Nation-based ways of governing and responding to wrongdoing. The Haida Nation and Haida Gwaii are uniquely situated to reassert the right to justice. Through semi-structured in-depth interviews, this study addressed the research questions: What does justice mean to the Haida? How could Haida conceptions of justice be implemented in modern-day? The emergent themes encompass the importance of community involvement, looking to the past to understand the present, overcoming trauma and healing and taking incremental steps towards the ultimate goal of sovereignty. The re-establishment of a Haida justice (tll yahda, make things right) system will take time and the importance of building capacity, healing, and focusing on our collective strengths was highlighted by participants. This study suggests that the formalization of a Haida Tll Yahda system is possible and offers suggestions for further actions to hold Canada to account for the ongoing harm it has caused.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Ted Palys
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

A neighborhood-level analysis of immigration and crime in Vancouver, Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-12-06
Abstract: 

In recent years, conflict and violence have propel the rate of displaced individuals to the highest levels since the Second World War, reigniting concerns on immigration and crime. Mass re-settlement initiatives have also changed the social and economic landscape of cities and neighborhoods, opening up an entirely new set of challenges for host nations. From an academic vantage, empirical inquiries are complicated by the dynamic, multifaceted and heterogeneous nature of immigration—complexities that also impact theory-based interpretations of the relationship. The polarization of sentiments complicate political and social perspectives. Advocates for restrictive immigration policies argue that immigrants are inextricably crime prone, while those in support of open immigration policies counter. Empirical research has proliferated in recent years, findings consistently show negative or null relationships between immigration and crime—yet researchers still know relatively little about why findings occur. As such, the current thesis aims to contribute to a better understanding of the immigration-crime link by addressing empirical and methodological gaps that help identify contextual mechanisms that underlie the relationship. Empirically, multi-dimensional, theoretically derived measures of immigration are analyzed—attending to the limitation of overly broad, single dimension, measures. Limitations also stem from a paucity of research that test the relationship at smaller aggregate units. This gap is addressed using census-tract level data and spatially referenced crime data to test immigration effects on disaggregated property crime types across neighborhoods in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 2003-2016. Methodological limitations develop from the use of global analytic models in assessments of ecological spatial data. Accordingly, local-level spatial analytic techniques are utilized—the spatial point pattern test and geographically weighted regression and a decomposition model. Overall, findings importantly show significant spatial variation in the effect of immigration on property crime (spatial non-stationarity). Results also demonstrate significant variation across immigration measure, property crime classification, effects are also distinguished between and within neighborhoods. Findings therefore, illustrate the context dependent nature of immigration effects on crime. Therefore, in order to develop a better understanding of the immigration-crime link future research should move beyond monolithic expectations and adopt research strategies that account for contextual factors that help explain differential relationships between immigration and crime.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Martin Andresen
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Restorative Justice in British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Bangladesh: Exploring Genesis and Praxis

Date created: 
2019-12-10
Abstract: 

More than a hundred countries around the world practice some form of restorative justice. Although research of these practices has expanded exponentially, there remain significant gaps in international comparative studies, understanding of community praxis, and perspectives of visionaries and practitioners on the genesis of RJ. This doctoral study bridges these gaps through thirty-eight semi-structured interviews and follow up surveys within the three research sites: British Columbia and Nova Scotia, in Canada, and Bangladesh. The research question addresses both genesis and praxis of RJ across the research sites. The data identifies the key factors that contributed to the genesis of restorative justice at each site. This growth is then situated within the phasic stages of social movements, arguing that restorative justice has not yet reached a ‘tipping point’ at any of the sites. The findings of this study illustrate the intricate nuances and complexities in the genesis of RJ, and enhances the understanding of community praxis in British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Bangladesh. Whilst similarities in community praxis, such as a circle of care or community as volunteer, exists across the sites, this study finds additional distinct forms of community praxis, such as ‘reflective community’ in British Columbia and ‘learning community’ in Nova Scotia. The research contributes to the existing literature in three ways. First, it documents the stories and voices of restorative justice visionaries who played a pivotal role in the early days at the three sites. Second, it identifies and contributes to contemporary debates: the standardization of restorative justice; the application of restorative justice on gender-based violence; and the role of INGOs. Third, it contributes to the theoretical framework of community praxis in restorative justice through a proposed Community Engagement Framework as well as a conceptual framework for decolonization and restorative justice. This study posits that the proposed Decolonizing Framework for RJ would facilitate the evolution of culturally and socially conducive RJ practices in previously colonized countries, like Bangladesh.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Brenda Morrison
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Examining the effects of dating violence prevention programs: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-12-16
Abstract: 

Dating violence is a prevalent issue among adolescents and refers to any physical, psychological, or sexual violence perpetrated by a partner in a close relationship (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019a). Prevention programs aim to increase awareness of dating violence and promote healthy relationships. This meta-analysis examines the efficacy of programs targeting adolescents at increasing knowledge about dating violence, changing attitudes towards dating violence behaviours, increasing bystander behaviours, and reducing incidents of adolescent dating violence perpetration and victimization. A systematic search yielded 37 studies contributing 71 independent effect sizes. Studies were pooled by outcome measure and results suggest that prevention programs have a significant, positive impact on measures of knowledge, attitudes, and violence perpetration, but did not significantly impact experiences of victimization or bystander behaviours. In addition, nine moderators were used to examine the impacts of program, participant, and study characteristics. Implications and recommendations for future research are discussed.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Jennifer Wong
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Rationalizing professional misconduct: An examination of techniques of neutralization in lawyer discipline proceedings

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-12-11
Abstract: 

This thesis investigates the use of neutralization techniques by lawyers to justify, excuse, and rationalize their behaviour in disciplinary action for misappropriation, real estate fraud, and conviction for serious financial criminal offences. In addition to assessing the nature and frequency of lawyer neutralizations, this study also considers the extent to which law society discipline hearing panels evaluate and respond to these defence and mitigation strategies in making a sanctioning determination. The dataset consists of 393 law society discipline decisions from eight of Canada’s 14 provincial and territorial law societies decided between 1990 and 2017. Content analysis addresses the characteristics of these lawyers, how they use techniques of neutralization and are disciplined by the law societies, and how hearing panels evaluate and respond to these rationalizations. The research findings have implications for neutralization theory and its application to lawyer discipline, for stakeholders and policymakers. The conclusions focus on three issues: 1) the prevalence of substance use and other mental health concerns in lawyer discipline cases, 2) the role of post-offence mitigation in the sanction determination, and 3) the suggestion that mitigating factors should be re-examined as techniques of neutralization with the goal of neutralizing some of them when imposing sanctions in disciplinary cases.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Joan Brockman
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Exploring the covariates of domestic terrorism in Canada: A model of provincial variation in terrorist incidents

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-08-14
Abstract: 

The majority of research on terrorism is focused on the United States, with very few studies examining terrorism in the Canadian context. Additionally, no studies have examined structural-level factors associated with terrorism in Canada. Therefore, the present study aims to understand the covariates of terrorist incidents within Canada informed by social disorganization theory related to population composition, economic factors, trends in immigration, among other theoretically relevant variables retrieved from the Census of Canada. A series of negative binomial generalized estimating equations and generalized linear models are conducted to provide an in-depth understanding of the factors associated with terrorism within Canada. The results show that the social disorganization perspective provides considerable utility in aiding the understanding the macro-level covariates of terrorism. Trends regarding the characteristics of terrorist incidents within Canada are also outlined, along with how the face of terrorism in Canada has changed over the years.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Garth Davies
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

"Drop the body": Body disposal patterns in sexual homicide

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-01-21
Abstract: 

The current study investigates body disposal patterns in sexual homicide cases, and examines whether offender’s behaviour differ between solved and unsolved cases. To address these two research questions in line with rational choice perspective, a series of logistic regression analyses was conducted on a sample of 250 solved, and 100 unsolved sexual homicide cases in Canada. Within solved cases, results show that if victim is a prostitute, body found concealed, and found lying face down, it is likely the body was moved. For unsolved cases, the role of victim as a prostitute, and evidence of stabbing influenced whether the body was moved. Further, results indicate that post-crime phase factors predicted the most whether the victim’s body was moved in solved cases. Whereas within unsolved cases, pre-crime phase factors contributed the most at predicting whether the body was moved post-homicide. Theoretical and practical implications from this study are discussed.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Eric Beauregard
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

From reefer madness to regulation: Analyzing Canada’s strategies to evaluate the public health impacts of recreational cannabis legalization

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-08-13
Abstract: 

On October 17, 2018, cannabis became legal to possess and use for recreational purposes in Canada. Canada’s approach to cannabis regulation was initially constructed as a deviancy issue, and is now being constructed as an issue central to public health. However, there is currently no consensus as to what specifically a public health approach to cannabis legalization entails. Literature from relevant jurisdictions with legal recreational cannabis has outlined some important public health metrics to consider with respect to cannabis legalization. The current study explores five of these public health metrics regarding cannabis legalization in Canada, in order to determine how well equipped Canada is to evaluate the public health impacts of cannabis legalization, and the current research strategies in place to evaluate this unprecedented policy change. Analyzing these strategies is important in order to determine whether recreational cannabis legalization in Canada can indeed be considered a public health success.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Neil Boyd
Tamara O'Doherty
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Men's formal help-seeking experiences following female perpetrated intimate partner violence

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-09-09
Abstract: 

Traditionally, IPV has been viewed as a gendered phenomenon, with a focus on women. However, victimization surveys and emerging research have started to explore the experiences of male victims, particularly in relation to their reluctance to seek help and their predominantly negative experiences upon doing so. To expand on the literature, this qualitative study is exploratory in nature and aims to better understand the formal help-seeking experiences of male victims of severe female perpetrated IPV. A total of 389 male victims responded to an open-ended qualitative survey question administered in the United States. Thematic analysis of their responses was conducted, and five main themes and a number of sub-themes were identified, namely: the context of formal help-seeking and types of abuse experienced, negative experiences with police, courts, and IPV victim agencies, and barriers to formal help-seeking. The gender paradigm theory and stigmatization theories informed the discussion of the results, and ultimately it was found that male victims who seek formal help report overwhelmingly negative experiences as a result of societal expectations surrounding gender roles and hegemonic masculinity, and male victims who do not seek formal help report barriers related to internalized stigma, shame, and embarrassment in their reasoning. Various recommendations for policy and practice are discussed in light of these findings, and issues of generalizability are taken into consideration.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Alexandra Lysova
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.