Alexander L. Burton

Alexander L. Burton
University of Texas at Dallas | UTD · Criminology

Doctor of Philosophy

About

32
Publications
20,408
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217
Citations
Introduction
Alexander L. Burton received his PhD from the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati. He is an Assistant Professor in the Criminology and Criminal Justice Program at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Publications

Publications (32)
Article
Full-text available
Each day, more than 425,000 correctional officers supervise an inmate population exceeding 2 million offenders, a task that is multidimensional and challenging both practically and psychologically. Although training in the skills and knowledge needed to perform this role is essential, relatively little research has explored this issue. To help fill...
Article
Full-text available
In 2009, Maruna and King presented results from a British survey showing that the public’s belief in the redeemability of people who committed offenses curbed their level of punitiveness. Based on a 2017 national survey in the United States (n = 1,000), the current study confirms that redeemability is negatively related to punitive attitudes. In ad...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives. The recurring mass murder of students in schools has sparked an intense debate about how best to increase school safety. Because public opinion weighs heavily in this debate, we examine public views on how best to prevent school shootings. We theorize that three moral-altruistic factors are likely to be broadly relevant to public opinio...
Article
Full-text available
Research Summary: In The Eternal Criminal Record, James Jacobs detailed how it has become increasingly difficult for ex-offenders to escape the mark of their criminal record. One way to “wipe the slate clean” is through the official expungement of criminal records. We assess public views toward this policy using a national sample of American adults...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter outlines the primary data assumptions that should be assessed when using an OLS (linear) regression framework.
Article
Full-text available
This study examines the prior work histories of 673 newly hired correctional officers in three states. We apply Kato and Suzuki's (2006) career drift framework of "floating" and "flowing," which examines occupational histories and career motivations to classify employees as floaters or a flow-ers. Empirically, floaters tend to come from any manner...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the longstanding issues within the correctional officer occupation (e.g., high turnover, absenteeism), decades of research have tended to focus solely on the negative consequences of correctional officer work, rather than on the unique personal characteristics of the officers themselves. This omission is surprising as it is highly probable...
Thesis
Full-text available
This dissertation presents primary data from a 2022 national survey of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted by YouGov. The survey instrument measured public perceptions toward 16 outcomes, including the respondents’: views of officers (“hacks” or “heroes”); ratings of occupational status; preferred role for officers (custody or treatment); perceived value (...
Article
Correctional staff turnover has been linked to burnout in current staff, risk of physical injury due to understaffing, and high replacement costs due to onboarding processes. To date, much research has been devoted to job characteristics and demographic profiles to understand turnover, but little research has examined highly dynamic factors, such a...
Article
The gun ownership literature is vast, with dozens of studies seeking to explain who owns guns and why. We build on this literature in two key ways. First, we introduce a new variable into the fold: sensitivity to harm. We theorize that this concern actively inhibits gun ownership. Second, we direct theoretical and empirical attention to a predictor...
Chapter
Full-text available
In any given year, more than 600,000 inmates are released from prisons into communities across the United States. Former prisoners face countless economic, social, and psychological obstacles that make reentry difficult and increase the risk of reoffending. These issues have become increasingly salient to scholars and policy makers over the past tw...
Article
Two principal movers of American politics appear increasingly to be connected: racism and guns. The racial content underlying gun rights rhetoric, however, is rarely made explicit during political campaigns. As such, it is possible that espousing pro‐gun messages may be an effective way to surreptitiously court prejudiced voters without transgressi...
Preprint
Full-text available
The gun ownership literature is vast, with dozens of studies seeking to explain who owns guns and why. We build on this literature in two key ways. First, we introduce a new variable into the fold: moral concern about harming others. We theorize that this concern actively inhibits gun ownership. Second, we direct theoretical and empirical attention...
Preprint
Correctional staff turnover has been linked to burnout in current staff, risk of physical injury due to understaffing, and high replacement costs due to onboarding processes. To date, much research has been devoted to job characteristics and demographic profiles to understand turnover, but little research has examined highly dynamic factors, such a...
Article
Full-text available
This study presents a comprehensive assessment of what Millennials think about U.S. correctional policy. Using a 2017 national-level sample (N = 1,000), Millennials’ correctional policy opinions across 13 outcomes are assessed and compared to the views of other generations. The main findings are twofold. First, Millennials are only modestly punitiv...
Article
Beliefs about race, especially racial resentment, are key predictors of public support for capital punishment and punitiveness generally. Drawing on a conceptual innovation by political scientist Jennifer Chudy, we explore the utility of transferring into criminology her construct of racial sympathy – or Whites’ concern about Blacks’ suffering. Fir...
Article
In the United States, Catholics make up more than 50 million members of the adult population, or about one in five Americans. It is unclear whether their religious affiliation shapes Catholics’ views on public policy issues, ranging from the legality of abortion to criminal justice practices. Capital punishment is especially salient, given that Pop...
Chapter
A book review of Jennifer Carlson's "Policing the Second Amendment: Gun, Law Enforcement, and the Politics of Race."
Article
Full-text available
On the basis of a 2019 YouGov survey of white respondents ( n = 734), the impact of racial beliefs on support for Donald Trump was explored. The analysis revealed that in addition to racial resentment, white nationalism—a desire to keep the United States white demographically and culturally—was strongly related to faith in Trump. Analyses based on...
Article
After each mass public shooting, an inevitable debate surrounding the tools used to carry out the attack ensues. This debate is marked by two sides: those who endorse controlling access to firearms and those who oppose restrictions to the Second Amendment. Implicit in this dialogue is the assumption that gun owners are a homogenous group who stand...
Article
Full-text available
In The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander drew national attention to the extensive imposition of collateral consequences on those convicted of a crime and to their racially disparate effects. These so-called invisible punishments are intended to restrict offender participation in civil, economic, and social institutions. At issue, however, is how the...
Article
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Research summary In the wake of repeated school shootings, today's youth have acquired the label of the “mass shooting generation.” Another fitting label would be the “armed school generation.” Most states now permit school security officers to carry firearms, and at least 466 school districts in 19 states allow teachers or staff members to be arme...
Preprint
Full-text available
In the United States, Catholics make up more than 50 million members of the adult population, or about 1 in 5 Americans. It is unclear whether their religious affiliation shapes Catholics' views on public policy issues, ranging from the legality of abortion to criminal justice practices. Capital punishment is especially salient, given that Pope Fra...
Article
Full-text available
The authors studied the extent to which the American public would support the implementation of rehabilitation ceremonies, including certificates. Using a national-level survey they commissioned YouGov to undertake, the authors examined public views about the redeemability of offenders--whether they believe that those convicted of felonies are intr...
Article
Full-text available
In light of the continuing mass shootings in America involving high casualties, we present national-level survey data (n = 1,100) examining the American public’s support for regulating the lethality of firearms. Our data allow us to examine how the American public views regulating the lethality of firearms in America, and also how the Second amendm...
Chapter
Full-text available
Based on a 2017 national survey of 1,000 Black Americans, perceptions regarding the implications of Donald Trump’s election as President on race relations, police-minority relations, and police treatment of Black citizens in the United States were examined. Findings suggest the existence of a “Trump Effect.” With minor variation across demographic...
Article
Full-text available
From Columbine to Sandy Hook to Marjory Stoneman Douglas, the American public has repeatedly witnessed the carnage and tragic consequences of mass school shootings. Using a national survey of American adults (N = 1,100) conducted between May 30 and June 6, 2018 in the aftermath of the Parkland tragedy, this project explores public opinion on why th...
Article
Full-text available
School shootings are one of the most salient social problems in America. Most prior research in this area has focused on identifying their causes and evaluating preventive school safety measures. An overlooked issue involves what to do with individuals who plan, attempt, or commit school shootings. Using data from an experiment embedded in a nation...
Article
Based on a 2017 national survey of 1,000 Black Americans, perceptions regarding the implications of Donald Trump’s election as President on race relations, police-minority relations, and police treatment of Black citizens in the United States were examined. Findings suggest the existence of a “Trump Effect.” With minor variation across demographic g...
Article
Full-text available
Recently, “problem-solving” courts have been developed as an alternative to imprisonment. They are often called “specialty” courts because they process and divert into treatment programs offenders who are seen as different from the general criminal population, such as those with mental health or drug problems, those who are homeless or veterans, an...
Article
Full-text available
Shortly following the mass murders at a concert in Las Vegas, NV and at a in church Sutherland Springs, TX, a national sample (n¼1,000) was surveyed in December 2017 regarding gun control policies. The study’s key finding is that two thirds of Americans rejected the view that these incidents were the “price of liberty,” advocating instead for effor...

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