Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Criminal Justice


Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security

Committee Chair

Alan Thompson

Committee Chair Department

Criminal Justice

Committee Member 2

Wesley Johnson

Committee Member 2 Department

Criminal Justice

Committee Member 3

JooHee lee

Committee Member 3 Department

Social Work


Since deinstitutionalization, the responsibility for mentally ill members of society has shifted to the criminal justice system in a process of trans-institutionalization or “criminalization of mental illness” (Slate & Johnson, 2008). Though various groups have been studied to ascertain their perception of mentally ill individuals and offenders, previous research focuses largely on students of psychology, social work, and medicine. Little research has been conducted regarding the perceptions of students of criminal justice toward mental illness, despite the increasing involvement of the criminal justice system in treating and handling mentally ill individuals in the past thirty years. This exploratory research serves as a replication to a study which was conducted by Thompson, Paulson, Valgardson, Nored, and Johnson (2014).