Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Criminal Justice

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Chris Rush

Committee Members

Dustin Osborne, Larry Miller


Although criminality among mentally ill individuals is a well-documented phenomenon, limited research has focused on specific factors that need to be addressed to combat this issue. Utilizing the theoretical framework of Shaw and McKay’s (1942) Social Disorganization Theory, in conjunction with collective efficacy (Sampson et al., 1997) and social capital (Coleman, 1988), different factors were explored in an attempt to discover their relationship with recidivism. Using secondary data from Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies, variables such as homelessness, unemployment, and religious importance were analyzed in relation to rearrest rates from 889 parolees nine months post-release. Marriage, sex, and age were controlled for. A relationship was found between unemployment and rearrest; however, no relationship was found between rearrest and homelessness or religious importance among this sample. Results from this study could contribute to the future implementation of programs aimed at assisting mentally ill offenders who are being released from confinement.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.