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Justice Policy Journal - Volume 17, Number 2 – Fall, 2020


Attitudes Towards Ban the Box: A Content Analysis of Tweets

By: Hanna E. Morzenti and Kwynn Gonzalez-Pons

Ban the Box is a social justice movement that advocates for employers to evaluate individuals with prior justice system involvement based on their job skills rather than their criminal record. The purpose of the present study was to identify and discuss Ban the Box-related themes in a sample of Twitter posts. Using the social media platform Twitter, researchers collected a 58-day sample of public posts that used the hashtag Ban the Box (#BantheBox). A qualitative thematic analysis was used to assess the content of tweets to identify underlying themes related to the Ban the Box movement. Two researchers independently coded the contents of each original tweet (N=204) and reached consensus on identified themes. Results showed two underlying themes: first, risky business or the perceived risks businesses take in hiring persons with prior justice system involvement, and second, that individuals with prior justice system involvement are a vulnerable population. This study highlights how Twitter is used to communicate about social justice-related issues. Further, this paper serves as a call to action for policymakers, social workers, and researchers to consider this medium when advocating for individuals with prior justice system involvement.


Borders, Labor and Trauma: The Multidimensional Struggle of Family Separation on Male Migrant Workers

By: J. Adrian Castrejón

This paper examines the social and emotional impact of family separation on migrant workers who have been displaced and forced to migrate to the United States. I use testimonio methodology to learn about the multidimensional struggles of migrant workers as a result of family separation and the connection to their immigration status. The testimonios collectively reveal the hardships that migrant workers endure and demonstrate the mental and emotional hardships of family separation on their well-being. They often find themselves enduring poverty, exploitation, discrimination, mental and physical health problems, danger, addiction, and fear of deportation while also being separated from their families. Critical Race Theory and Undocumented Critical Theory inform this project.


The Foster-Care-to-Prison Pipeline

By: Ashly Marie Yamat

At any given time, hundreds of thousands of children in the United States are in need of a home. The inability of some parents to provide support has caused foster care to develop into a common pathway into the juvenile justice system. Despite efforts to provide safe and supportive alternate living situations, our foster care system has shown to be highly controversial in its practice, leaving children at high risk of juvenile delinquency. This paper will examine the current climate that wards of the state live in and further explore how foster care creates a direct pipeline for children to become offenders in the juvenile justice system. Included are suggestions for improvement and a discussion of how the foster care system may move forward in the best interest of its children.


Dropout and Incarceration: Extending the School-to-Prison Pipeline (STPP) Construct

By: Mike Tapia, Deborah Blalock, Joanne Choi, and Erika Ochoa

Prior studies have produced mixed results on the effect of high school dropout on adult incarceration. The current study revisits this issue with a macro-level approach to test the versatility of STPP concepts to various research contexts. We explore the relationship between school dropout rates and prison admission rates for black, white, and Hispanic males in Texas counties with two, time-lagged, crosssectional models. We use a series of OLS regression analyses to test for relationships, while controlling for a variety of county-level ecological variables. Results were mixed between models, and ultimately do not validate the STPP construct for this particular research context. Study limitations and other implications of the research are discussed.


Perceptions of NIMBY Syndrome among Colorado and Washington Dispensary Owners and Managers

By: Brian Iannacchione, Kyle C. Ward and Mary K. Evans

The legalization of medical and recreational marijuana in the United States has presented unique challenges that are unfolding at the federal, state, and municipal levels. As more states decide to allow for the opening of marijuana dispensaries, much is still unknown regarding the community’s perception of these businesses. Dear (1992) and Halperin (2016) articulated that community opposition goes through a cycle, beginning with intense disputes and ending with extended calms. These disputes often begin because of the not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) syndrome. Historically, these disputes have been witnessed over welfare programs, affordable housing programs, and homeless shelters (Dear, 1992). Often they arise because of fear of client groups associated with such programs. While NIMBY has been studied extensively with a number of programs, very few have examined this phenomenon concerning marijuana dispensaries. The purpose of this study was to measure dispensary owners’ and managers’ perceptions of community backlash against their business in both Colorado and Washington. Survey methodology was used to explore the relationship that dispensaries have with their communities. Results suggest that, while some NIMBY sentiment existed, it was not as severe as many other NIMBY disputes.


Using the Synthetic Control Method to Determine the Effects of the Death Penalty on State-Level Murder Rates

By: Mark Gius

The purpose of the present study is to determine the effects of capital punishment on state-level murder rates. Using data for the period 1990-2014 and a synthetic control method, results of the present study suggest that the repeal of the death penalty in New Jersey resulted in an increase in murder rates when compared to a synthetic version of New Jersey. These results are similar to the results found in other studies on the death penalty, particularly Gius (2016). The present study is significant because it is the first study that uses the synthetic control method to determine the effects of the death penalty on murder rates.

Keywords: foster care, immigration, school-to-prison pipeline

Posted in Volume 17

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