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Criminal Justice Thesis Abstracts

CASSANDRA HOLMES (Deon Brock), 2008

CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT: A GUIDE FOR MANDATED REPORTERS

The most recent data regarding child abuse and neglect has determined that in 2005, approximately 899,000 children were victims of child abuse or neglect in the United States. In the state of Massachusetts, 35,789 children were victims of child abuse and neglect, with 69.6% of the victims between the ages of 4-17. Considering more than half of the incidences of child abuse occur during the years a child is in school, it is important that educators do their job as mandated reporters. Not only does failure to report child abuse and neglect result in civil liability for the educator, it also inhibits its prevention. A guide was created to give educators a detailed description of the different types and signs of child abuse and neglect, causes of child abuse and neglect and prevention. The intended outcome is educating teachers and other mandated reports to help identify and prevent further incidence of child abuse and neglect.

SARAH SYLVESTER (Randall Grometstein), 2005

SOCIETY HAS CREATED HOMOPHOBIA AND THEREFORE IT HAS PERPETUATED HATE CRIMES AGAINST HOMOSEXUALS

Heterosexuality is what is deemed normal by our society, and thus homosexuality is seen as wrong. It can be argued that anti-gay behaviors are the extreme manifestations of the dominant values of our culture. This paper will explore the issue of how society has created homophobia and, therefore, hate crime. By examining information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Report and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the prevalence of hate crime based on sexual orientation within our society will be assessed. The majority of hate crimes are committed by young males and homophobia is often a cause. Therefore, this paper will also examine the social construction of masculinity and gender and their relationships to homophobia. In addition, this paper will explore how society has created an AIDS stigma that has focused on homosexuals. AIDS/HIV is primarily linked to homosexuality. When AIDS first appeared in the United States, it was called the gay man’s disease, and today homosexual men with AIDS are perceived more negatively than any other person with AIDS. This paper will make the association between the ideas of masculinity and the AIDS stigma and hate crime based on sexual orientation. Finally, the paper will review measures to prevent hate crime based on sexual orientation.