George E Higgins

George E Higgins
University of Louisville | UL · Department of Criminal Justice

Ph.D.

About

271
Publications
55,496
Reads
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5,104
Citations
Citations since 2016
85 Research Items
3203 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
Introduction
My research focuses on testing criminological theories and quantitative methods. I apply theories and quantitative methods to substance use, cybercrime, race and ethnicity differences, and criminal justice organizational issues (i.e., leadership, administration, and profiling). I publish consistently with students and colleagues from around world. I am fortunate to be the recipient of numerous awards that include the 2018 Academy of Criminal Justice Founder’s Award.
Additional affiliations
July 2003 - present
University of Louisville
Position
  • Professor
July 2000 - June 2003
West Virginia State University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Education
September 1997 - December 2001
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Field of study
  • Criminology
January 1995 - December 1996
University of Kentucky
Field of study
  • Public Administration
August 1990 - December 1994
Kentucky State University
Field of study
  • Criminal Justice

Publications

Publications (271)
Article
Purpose The purpose of this study is to investigate the federal sentencing of organizational probation for environmental offenders using the focal concerns. Those organizations that are more blameworthy should be sentenced to longer probation terms. However, little research has been conducted to examine whether probation is being sentenced accordin...
Article
A systematic review of literature investigating cyberstalking offending and victimization was conducted, considering multiple key words and phrases used to label the behavior: cyberstalking, cyber dating abuse, cybervictimization, Internet, interpersonal electronic surveillance, and victimization. The following electronic databases, with the indica...
Article
This study sought to understand the issue of racial profiling in police requests to consent search the driver. The social conditioning model was applied as a theoretical explanation of the officer based on the citizen's race, gender, and age. The propensity score matching (PSM) results show that Black drivers (vs. White drivers), Black male drivers...
Article
Best practices for graduate student education and training has been under recent scrutiny, especially as universities are looking for methods of improving their programs. A method of demonstrating proficient and successful programs is providing evidence of successful alumni. This study will provide a quantitative and qualitative analysis of an alum...
Article
Justice-involved women frequently experience victimization histories, mental illness, and substance use disorders, which create challenges with completing probation sentences. Although most justice-involved women are on probation, research focuses on prisoners. Studies on treatment services for the population primarily have samples from prison, cre...
Article
Background and Objectives The U.S. has seen increased prevalence of substance use, child maltreatment, and child entry into out-of-home care (OOHC). This study tested whether Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START) were superior to usual child welfare services with regard to: (1) OOHC placements within 12 months of the index maltreatment even...
Article
The current study aimed to identify the correlates of post-traumatic stress among a sample of women on probation and parole with a history of victimization. Community-based sampling was used to recruit 406 women on probation and parole in Jefferson County, Kentucky. The post-traumatic stress diagnostic scale was used to measure three indicators of...
Article
Full-text available
The findings of this study outline the racial differences in stop and frisk decisions by Illinois officers in consent searches and those based upon reasonable suspicion within the context of the elements of focal concerns theory. The analysis for this study was performed using propensity score matching (PSM) and allowed the researchers to create a...
Article
Objective Incarcerated adults have high rates of fatal and nonfatal suicidal behaviors. Suicide prevention recommendations stress the need for the provision of health care for incarcerated adults after suicide attempts, yet prison policies and practices often focus instead on punitive responses to suicidal behaviors. Existing research is limited re...
Article
Background Most of the research on alcohol use and being cyberbullied has focused on the correlation between the two. Less is known about the recent epidemiology of adolescent current alcohol use. Objective: To describe the trends in current alcohol use among adolescence that self-report being cyberbullied across sex and racial/ethnic groups. Metho...
Article
Full-text available
Conflicting with its Republican idealism, France’s colonial legacy and history of xenophobia has led to riots by the first-, second-, and third-generation immigrants who experienced unemployment and social marginalization. Motivated by politicians advocating for expanded police powers to search and arrest citizens, the French media reported these u...
Article
The purpose of this study was to determine whether persons of different racial/ethnic backgrounds differ in their perceptions of the role racial discrimination plays in the overrepresentation of Black people in the U.S. prison system. The paper also tested the gradient hypothesis of comparative conflict theory, which predicts Black people perceive...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this study is to use crime mapping techniques to examine geographic patterns of signed deferred and non-prosecution agreements across federal districts. The purpose is also to examine the variation in the number of agreements by the district since 1992. Design/methodology/approach This study uses data from the Corporate Pros...
Article
There are several challenges facing criminal justice stakeholders with the emergence of this form of criminality, aptly termed “nonconsensual pornography.” The current study will examine the management and experiences of a newer form of cybercrime, non consensual pornography, by an imperative category of criminal justice stakeholders: county and di...
Article
This study examines the issue of prosecutorial discretion and the decision to offer a plea of life without parole (LWOP) in Kentucky death-eligible homicide cases (2000–2016). Using focal concerns theory as a framework and propensity score matching (PSM) and logistic regression as the methods of analysis, it attempts to explain the factors influenc...
Article
The misuse of prescription medication is a prominent public health concern in the United States. The current study examines prescription drug misuse among adolescents under age 18, a segment of the population that is particularly vulnerable to this issue. The study further explores the correlates of prescription drug misuse among adolescents throug...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to draw a better understanding of the potential impact of daylight in officer decision making. In order to this, the authors test the veil of darkness hypothesis, which theorizes that racial bias in traffic stops can be tested by controlling for the impact of daylight, while operating under the assumption that d...
Article
This exploratory paper examined the correlates of the decision of shoppers who perceived that they were victims of profiling in a retail setting to report the incident. As part of a larger study on consumer racial profiling (CRP), this paper examined the respondents who stated that they experienced CRP (n = 215) and reported the CRP incident (n = 4...
Article
Although low income is common across the U.S. probation population, women offenders experience it more than men. However, despite the connection between income and probation outcomes, limited research has been conducted on programs that could improve the financial circumstances of female probationers. This study examined the influence on probation...
Article
This study examines if judges sentence criminal corporations that are more blameworthy in the commission of crimes to community service penalties. This blameworthiness consideration is drawn from the focal concerns framework. The study uses data compiled by the U.S. Sentencing Commission from court documents for the cases of 1125 corporations that...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to assess if federal judges have sentenced criminal corporations to fines that are consistent with the seriousness of the offense and the blameworthiness of the organization, which would be in line with the directives from the US Sentencing Guidelines. This paper will also use the focal concerns framework to mea...
Article
Despite an overrepresentation of Black women in the criminal justice system, Black women’s mental health at the precarious intersection of race, gender, and community-based correctional supervision has been underresearched. Building on weathering theory, this study conceptualized criminal justice involvement as a social inequality that negatively a...
Article
Justice-involved women experience significantly higher rates of victimization and psychological distress, and these experiences place women at greater risk of initial and ongoing involvement in the criminal justice system. This research explored the relationship between victimization, the hypothesized mediators (social support and coping), and psyc...
Article
Objective: Binge drinking among African-Americans is an important area of research; however, little research has examined this phenomenon using theory. The purpose of this study is to provide an examination of African-American binge drinking using primary socialization theory. Methods: Using data from a national sample of African-American adolescen...
Article
In federal courts in the U.S., judges can require criminal organizations to implement corporate compliance programs, ideally to decrease future crime occurrences. However, it is unclear of the circumstances that merit this sentence. This study examines a primary consideration when sentencing criminal organizations that is drawn from the focal conce...
Article
Risky sexual behavior among teenagers in the United States is a noted public health concern. The purpose of this study is to examine the correlates and theoretical predictors of risky sexual behavior among American teens. Data from the Youth Risk Behavioral Survey was utilized with concepts from Routine Activities Theory guiding analyzes. Bivariate...
Article
Background: The many negative consequences and high rates of use associated with youth binge drinking make further study into its causes and correlates vital. Sport participation is a relevant factor in predicting drinking behaviors among youth in need of further research. Objectives: The current study tests the influence of specific types of sport...
Article
Binge drinking is still an issue among adolescents. The current study applies the theories of low self-control, social learning theory, and social bond theory to adolescent binge drinking. The data for this study comes from the 2011 Monitoring the Future Survey form two that is a nationally representative sample. The study found support for low sel...
Article
This study examined the robustness of the proposed factor structure of the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI-18) in a sample of justice-involved women (N = 406). Efforts to assess accurately and intervene effectively regarding mental health issues (namely, somatization, depression, and anxiety) are critical due to growing proportions of women involved i...
Article
Online victimization via cyberbullying and cyberstalking are plaguing our young online users. These tormenting and intrusive behaviors have infiltrated relationship formation, online communication and social identity. Friends and romantic partners have become increasingly dependent on the use of technology to initiate relationships. The purpose of...
Article
The purpose of this exploratory study was to establish the prevalence of disability as measured by self-reported Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) receipt among a sample of women on probation and parole who have experienced interpersonal victimization in childhood and/or adulthood. Women receiving SSDI were more likely to be older, White,...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to apply focal concerns theory as a theoretical explanation for police officer decision making during a traffic stop that results in a consent search. The study uses coefficients testing to better examine the issue of racial profiling through the use of a race-specific model. Design/methodology/approach The d...
Article
Full-text available
Digital piracy is a global concern for society. Although adolescents’ digital piracy in South Korea is pervasive, its cause has rarely been examined. Using data collected by the Korean Institute of Criminology (KIC) in 2009, this study conducted structural equation modeling to determine if low self-control and social learning theory accounted for d...
Article
Women involved in the criminal justice system experience multiple forms of adversity over their lifetimes. These events may include childhood abuse, involvement in the child welfare system as children, intimate partner violence victimization during adulthood, and punitive interactions with the child welfare system as mothers. Community supervision...
Article
Suicide-related disclosure is an important component of identifying individuals at risk for suicide. However, no standardized measures exist to assess the degree to which individuals have disclosed suicide-related experiences. Therefore, the present study tested the psychometric properties of the Self-Harm and Suicide Disclosure Scale. A sample of...
Article
While it is generally understood that people tend not to specialize in specific types of deviance, less is understood about offending specialization and versatility in the context of friendships. Using a large sample of persons nested within friendship pairs, this study’s goal is to explore how self-control and social learning theories contribute t...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the issue of racial profiling when the traffic stop outcome is a search using focal concerns theory as a theoretical explanation for police officer decision making and propensity score matching (PSM) as a better analysis to understand the race of the driver. Design/methodology/approach The data for...
Article
Researchers in criminal justice literature have relatively underexamined the delinquency among Native American (NA) youth. Using data from the Drug Use Among Young Indians: Epidemiology and Prediction study, the present study tested assumptions in Gottfredson and Hirschi’s self-control theory. This study found evidence supporting the theory. Low se...
Article
Suicide is the leading cause of mortality in the world. The major factors of suicidal behavior are depressive symptoms. Using data from the Korean General Social Survey conducted in 2012, this study identified the causes of suicidality using general strain theory (GST). The total sample size was 1,396. The results showed that physical punishment an...
Article
Background: Prescription drug-related overdose deaths have increased dramatically in recent years. Women in the justice system experience high rates of drug use, victimization, trauma symptoms, and other health problems, and would appear to be at high risk for nonmedical use of prescription drugs (NMUPD). This study will be among the first to descr...
Article
Native American (NA) youth's delinquency is one of the major problems that has been overlooked by criminal justice researchers and practitioners. To examine if negative family environment influences their delinquency with the mediating effect of negative emotion, this study analyzed structural equation modeling based on the General Strain Theory (G...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to assess the effects of officers’ perceptions of complexity in merging organizational change components (culture, mission, values, decentralization, policies and procedures, administrative reporting practices, weapons, contract, pay, benefits, patrol boundaries, equalization of workload, size of boundaries, co...
Article
Citizens’ attitudes toward the death penalty have been effected by the availability of life without parole (LWOP). Our analysis focuses upon data from a representative sample of Kentuckians on death penalty attitudes. The factors influencing and related to death penalty support and compared to support for LWOP are considered along with a review of...
Chapter
The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of social learning theory. The overview presents the development of the theory from its early historical criminological roots to the contemporary presentations of the theory. These theoretical presentations are used to provide the foundation of prevention measures. Further, a review of the exami...
Chapter
Gresham Sykes and David Matza contended that offenders applied the techniques of neutralization to reduce the guilt of committing crime. These neutralizations included denial of responsibility, denial of harm, denial of victim, appeal to higher loyalties, and condemnation of the condemners. The neutralization theory has gained much empirical suppor...
Article
As technology has become an ever-present facet in the lives of young people, they have become reliant on it to form and maintain relationships. The present study explored the perceptions of cyberstalking offenders on their own romantic relationships of their offending behaviors utilizing General Theory of Crime and Social Learning Theory. Results i...
Article
This study addresses racial profiling when the traffic stop outcome is a citation. This study uses focal concerns theory as a theoretical explanation for police officer decision-making while using propensity score matching to provide similarly situated drivers based on race and/or gender. This study uses traffic stop data (N = 48,586) collected by...
Article
This study examines complexity as a measure of support for organizational redirection. This study considers whether 16 items (culture, mission, values, decentralization, policies and procedures, administrative reporting practices, weapons, contract, pay, benefits, patrol boundaries, equalization of workload, size of boundaries, communications, 10-c...
Article
Dating violence is a growing and prominent problem for today’s middle and high school students. Intimate partner violence, which can include physical, sexual, emotional, and psychological aggression, affects millions of individuals worldwide. This specific study will examine one age group affected by this rampant phenomenon: adolescents under the a...
Article
This article examines HIV risks among a sample of 406 women on probation and parole with lifetime histories of victimization who were recruited from an urban community in the southern U.S. Guided by the Comprehensive Health Seeking and Coping Paradigm, we analyze the significance of sociodemographic characteristics, substance use, posttraumatic str...
Article
Justice-involved women report high rates of victimization across their life span, and these experiences contribute to their involvement in the criminal justice (CJ) system. Within this population, research has identified an overlap among victimization and substance use, a high-risk coping mechanism. Furthermore, research indicates attachment style...
Article
This study presents findings on the community release performance of prisoners incarcerated for a drug offense and released over a 30-month period (July 2002 – December 2004). Within this sample, propensity score matching was used to construct comparable groups of parolees and offenders released unconditionally into the community. The authors find...
Article
Using general strain theory (GST), this study examines negative stimuli (poor relationship with family, parental child abuse, and poor parenting), with the mediating effect of negative emotion (depression), on the deviant behavior of running away from home. The current study used data from a 2009 Korean survey of 9,750 adolescent students in a stru...
Article
This study describes how prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) are used and identifies the strengths and weakness found in the four PDMPs studied. Focus groups were conducted with law enforcement officers in four states. The results indicate that making it easier to obtain information from the systems in other states or establishing a regio...
Article
The purpose of this study was to develop and test a conceptual model of the pathways through which childhood victimization influences adult health outcomes. Specifically, measures of high-risk behaviors, tobacco use, alcohol use, illegal substance use, and HIV risk behaviors were hypothesized to mediate the relationship between childhood victimizat...
Article
Justice-involved women report high rates of victimization across their life span, and these experiences contribute to their involvement in the criminal justice (CJ) system. Within this population, research has identified an overlap among victimization and substance use, a high-risk coping mechanism. Furthermore, research indicates attachment style...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper was to explore the identity theft victimization experiences of high school students, as well as the predictors of it being reported to school counselors. Design/methodology/approach In July and August 2014, an online survey was sent to every registered member of the American School Counselor’s Association (ASCA)...
Article
Background: Experimental research has shown that nutrition influences behavioral deviance. Objectives: The current project addresses the impact of nutrition on problem alcohol and drug use in a nationally representative sample of US adults. Methods: The study relies on the daily dietary nutrition data and the substance use measures in the 2007...
Article
As technology has become an ever-present facet in the lives of young people, they have become reliant on it to form and maintain relationships. It has also helped facilitate negative relationship behaviors, such as the monitoring of romantic partners without their permission (aka cyberstalking). The purpose of this study is to investigate theoretic...
Article
As technology has become an ever-present facet in the lives of young people, they have become reliant on it to form and maintain relationships. It has also helped facilitate negative relationship behaviors. The purpose of this study is to investigate theoretical predictors of negative relationships in a sample of university students. Results indica...
Article
Full-text available
Reports of identity theft in the U.S. have risen since the 2000s, which has resulted in financial losses into the billions. Along with this rise is the increased likelihood of familial identity theft. In this study, the differences between familial and non-familial identity theft were explored through the January–July 2012 Identity Theft Supplement...
Article
Using primary socialization theory (PST), we examined the nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers among African-American adolescents in the National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) 2013. Self-reported nonmedical use of pain relievers, PST constructs, and covariates were addressed using cluster logistic regression. The results indicated...
Chapter
Several polices have been implemented in an effort to prevent sex offenders from recidivating. Many of these policies apply equally to all sex offenders, assuming that sex offenders are a homogenous group. Research has approached the study of sex offender recidivism rates similarly; not considering the possibility that sex offenders are comprised o...
Article
The article builds on previous work by Roman and colleagues in order to specify the potential causes for increased incidents of violent assault in areas featuring a high number of prosocial institutions (i.e., schools, recreation centers). Utilizing aspects of routine activity theory and crime pattern theory, the argument is presented that both pov...
Article
Developing Internet technology has increased t he rates of youth online harassment. This study examines online harassment from adolescents with low self-control and the moderating effect of opportunity. The data using this study were collected by the Korea Institute of Criminology in 2009. T he total sample size was 1,091. The results indicated tha...
Article
This article provides an overview of Gottfredson and Hirschi's (1990) self-control theory. The article details the development. The development pertains to the role of parents and schools. Gottfredson and Hirschi argue that peer association is not an issue with their theory. This article discusses the issues surrounding this viewpoint. In addition,...
Chapter
This entry will take a brief look at a number of issues relating to the phenomenon. First, it will discuss the empirical support for the relationship between education and offending (both street-level and white-collar) and the theories that have been used to explain it. Second, it will discuss how demographics may serve to influence the level of th...
Article
Full-text available
Digital piracy is an emerging criminal behavior. Little empirical research has been produced that examines the role of neutralization and performance of this behavior. Using short-term longitudinal data from college students, the present study examines the trajectories of digital piracy and the role of neutralization. The findings from this study s...
Article
Recent years have seen increasing concerns about the importance of offender reentry and how to best facilitate ex-offenders remaining crimefree. Common responses have been to enhance punitiveness, and to decrease resources and support services for ex-offenders. Results have been consistently high levels of recidivism, and consequently increasingly...
Chapter
The police are a common organization in US culture, and they have been an important feature in US culture for more than a century. Police officers perform a number of functions: patrolling streets, fighting crime, and serving their communities in multiple ways. This has not always been the case. Police, historically, have roots in the US political...
Chapter
This entry provides a comprehensive review of cyberbullying. Specifically, it focuses on a myriad of germane topics including the nature of cyberbullying, the characteristics of cyberbullying, and cyberbullying prevention.
Article
Full-text available
The present study examines whether the presence of school resource officers (SROs) and their level of involvement in place management activities are associated with higher or lower rates of school-based serious violence. This study uses data from the 2010 School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS) conducted by National Center for Educational Statist...
Article
Cyberstalking, or the use of technology to harass and threaten others, is an area of scientific research that is still largely in its infancy. As such, there remains an on-going debate whether cyberstalking emerged as a new form of deviant behavior with the advancement of technology or whether these online behaviors are simply extensions of offline...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Reduced diversion (e.g., doctor shopping, theft, prescription forgery, illegal sale by physicians, patients, or pharmacists) and abuse of prescription drugs are goals for all prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs). However, there is variability in how individual states implement and operationalize these programs, including policies and mecha...
Article
Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to contribute to the gap in the literature by investigating the identity theft behaviors of adolescents under the age of 18 and the predictors of these behaviors. To better understand the predictors of hacking behaviors in young people, two criminological theories, general theory of crime and social learning th...
Article
An estimated 1.6 million adolescents use cocaine on a regular basis. Social learning theory and self-control theory are regularly used to explain adolescent substance use, but few studies have examined Hirschi’s (2004) revised self-control theory. This study examines the efficacy of these three theories in explaining adolescent cocaine use using da...
Article
Latent class analysis was used to identify subgroups of victimized women (N = 406) on probation and parole differentiated by levels of general psychological distress. The 9 primary symptom dimensions from the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) were used individually as latent class indicators (Derogatis, 1993). Results identified 3 classes of women char...
Article
The present analysis was guided by a gendered pathways-based theoretical model and examined relationships between childhood victimization and current attachment, psychological distress, and substance use among 406 women with histories of victimization who were on probation and parole in an urban Kentucky county. Structural equation modeling examine...

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