First Advisor

John Giduck, PhD

Second Advisor

James Ponzi, PhD


College of Contemporary Liberal Studies

Degree Name

MS Criminology

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

71 pages


The continually emerging field of biosocial criminology provides a basis for productively merging biology with sociological reasonings for criminal behavior. Mainstream research in criminology focuses on environmental factors as the sole reason individuals exhibit antisocial behavior patterns and may ultimately commit crimes. Criminological research has travelled in this direction for decades. The current climate within this community subscribes heavily to the notion that biology has very little to do with why people behave the way they do, and if it did, government control would be the norm. The nature of biocriminology opens a door through which constitutional issues may enter. Conventional criminology envisions a dark side to this aspect where search and seizure and due process questions exist, similar to intrusive issues recognized in early 20th century legislation. Questions of how and when biological samples are collected and from whom suggest the potential for a slippery slope into unreasonable access by the government. Biosocial researchers do not intend this. The purpose of biosocial research can and should enhance traditional criminological theory, thus, potentially offering more realistic solutions to social challenges. Addressing current issues such as crime rates in disadvantaged areas, incarceration and recidivism rates, and challenges that affect the mentally ill, reveals possibilities that may provide intervention by offering viable treatment protocols rather than endless explanations. It is important to create solutions that bypass political or ideological motivations. The goal is to capitalize on this integration in such a way so as not to violate the constitutional rights of the individuals who would receive the most benefit.

Date of Award

Spring 2018

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colorado

Rights Statement

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