Faculty/Student Research

 

Access, Pollution, and Criminalisation: Do-It-Yourself Responses to Water Issues

Bill McClanahan, a second-year master's student, delivered a paper, ‘Access, pollution, and criminalisation: Do-It-Yourself responses to water issues,’ at the fourth Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Green Criminology Research Seminar at Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne (England) on 4 October 2013. The seminar—one of six taking place at different locations in the United Kingdom between October 2012 and July 2014—was an all-day international event focusing on air, water, and soil pollution, as well as the dumping of traditional and ‘e’ wastes. The seminar also included a discussion of the economic, political, and social implications of such toxic environments and the emerging black markets in waste and prohibited products. Mr. McClanahan's talk was recorded and uploaded, and can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJ0nmJxLjr0.

 
  Article Resulting from Graduate Thesis Published in British Journal of Criminology

John J. Brent, who earned a master’s degree in criminal justice from Eastern Kentucky University in 2009, recently had an article resulting from his graduate thesis – an ethnographic study of underground fighters – published in the “British Journal of Criminology,” one of the top three journals in criminology and the most prestigious journal in international criminology circles.

Brent, currently a full-scholarship student in the University of Delaware’s Sociology/Criminology doctoral program, had decided...

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Theorizing Marionization and the supermax prison movement  (Published In S. C. Richards’ USP Marion:  The first federal super-max penitentiary. )
Minor, K. I., & Baumgardner, M. M. 

Abstract:  Analyzing supermax imprisonment as an artifact of late modern society, and examining its reciprocal connection to culture, helps position scholars to better appreciate the sociological significance of an escalating trend after 1983 toward protracted segregation of prisoners in ultra-secure, ultra-restrictive, and ultra-depriving carceral settings.  The dominant ideology is straightforward enough.  That we would build and operate such units for criminals of the most intractable and despicable kind seems to defy question or reason for debate; the need appears self-evident.  Simple seems better – and easier and more comforting too.  Still, careful analysis reveals that supermax penology has become increasingly dicey, impending to offend the very moral sensibility that it proportetly upholds.  Along these latter lines, theorizing the supermax as a cultural agent ought to serve as a pungent reminder that a posture of being inattentive and uncritically accepting of what is done in the realm of state penal policy and practice, of what we call acquiescing to the prerogative of government expertise, or what Pratt (2013) simply describes as “looking the other way” and “not asking awkward questions,” does more than dominate and subjugate incorrigibility.  It also shapes what we are willing to accept and thereby become as a culture.  Viewed in these terms, the supermax movement becomes more a slippery slope than a commonsensical response to threats of institutional disruption.

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Felon Disenfranchisement:  The Judiciary’s Role in Renegotiating Racial Divisions
Brian P. Schaefer &  Dr. Peter B. Kraska

Abstract:  Felon disenfranchisement is deeply rooted in U.S. history as a form of punishment and as a tool to inhibit African Americans from voting. Today, there are 5.3 million U.S. residents politically disenfranchised due to a felony conviction—about 2 million of whom are African Americans. The overrepresentation of African Americans disenfranchised, and the U.S. history of racism, brings forth the question of how these laws continue to exist. The objective of this study is to demonstrate, through a socio–legal approach, the federal court system’s role in perpetuating and maintaining the ethnoracial divisions in society through the validation and rationalization of felon disenfranchisement laws. We aim to demonstrate how over the past century many disenfranchisement laws have been “whitewashed” in order to eliminate any indication of racially motivated practices, a practice that coincides with the historic expansion of the penal state in the controlling of minority populations.

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deviant behavior

Under the Pixelated Jolly Roger: A Study of On-Line Pirates
Kevin F. Steinmetz & Dr. Kenneth Tunnell

Abstract:  Digital piracy—a type of copyright infringement—is a global phenomenon that allegedly contains grave economic consequences for intellectual property industries. Its pervasiveness has produced a global piracy subculture. This article describes our study of digital pirates who actively participate in an on-line discussion board dedicated to copyright infringement. It explores their motivations, techniques of neutralization, and contradictions within a community-wide belief system. Motivations among this group include a desire to share content, to sample content before purchasing, to acquire intellectual property that is unaffordable, and to subvert copyright law. We then apply Sykes and Matza's (1957) techniques of neutralization. Finally, we discuss contradictions within this group's belief systems; specifically acceptance and rejection of capitalism and state power and formal control.

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deviant behavior journalSocial Control in a Sexually Deviant Cybercommunity: A Cappers' Code of Conduct
Joshua Roberts & Dr. Scott Hunt

Abstract:  This study examines a cybercommunity dedicated to recording live webcam feeds that are sexually charged. Those who record these feeds are known as “cappers.” Cappers post these “caps” on message boards designed to disseminate, share, and evaluate their aesthetic qualities. Following the insights of Durkin, Forsyth, Quinn, and others, this article identifies and elaborates the means of social control that promotes deviant ends among a capping community by extending Anderson's “code of the street.” The capping code's basic rules, strategies, tactics, and motives are analyzed in relation to reputation. The article concludes with considerations for future research.

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After several years of hard work, Brian Schaefer, with the assistance of Professor Kraska, has published a version of his master's thesis completed at EKU in a high-quality, refereed journal. The article is on a very consequential topic, and the level of scholarship displayed in his work is extraordinary -- especially given that Brian completed the bulk of this work as a master's student and first year doctoral student. Brian is currently a research assistant in University of Louisville's doctoral program.

To read his master's thesis click here!


Hannah Robbins has a sincere interest in scholarly research as evidenced by her work in making correctional facilities safer for women inmates and detainees. As a result of being the lead research assistant in a PREA related study that took her to 14 different prisons and jails in eight states over the last two years, Hannah played a key role in interviewing hundreds of staff and surveying over 5,000 women inmates on their perceptions of sexual safety and violence. With the data collected from this research, Hannah was the lead presenter on a paper on staff sexual misconduct at a recent SCJA and ACJS conference. Hannah plans to devote a significant portion of her graduate studies to gaining a greater understanding of the staff sexual misconduct issue and how to reduce it.