Document Type


Date of Award



Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs (SOPA)

Degree Name

MS in Administration of Justice

First Advisor

Professor Ashraf Mozayani


This thesis focuses on issues related to environmental crime utilizing a Forensic Research Assessment approach as it relates to environmental criminal acts with specific attention paid to water pollution, in those communities that have been marginalized in the Greater Houston, Texas area, while incorporating a Theoretical Framework or models as are associated with the Administration of Justice. Moreover, this research is conducted utilizing secondary data, ideologies, and assessments in an effort to support the theories that will be contained herein, the Deterrence Theory and the Conflict Theory. Furthermore, this thesis examines the various policies, research assessment methods and data collection as associated with Administration of Justice, in an effort to study environmental criminal acts utilizing a Forensic Research assessment approach. Forensic Research Assessment is the scientific method of gathering and examining data and evidence. In this case, it involves an assessment of that data collected, which has been used by previous researchers in an effort to explain phenomena. This type of research is 2 essential in law enforcement where forensics analysis is preformed and applied in situations related to criminal and/or civil law. Furthermore, a Forensic Research Assessment is utilized as a method to assess Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs), and Semi-Volatile Organic Chemicals (SVOAs) found in polluted water samples in an effort to ascertain their origin. As with most cnmes, the Hierarchy Rule applies in the event of multiple incidents. Only the most serious crimes or criminal acts will be prosecuted. However, even though the four elements of crime include an offender, a victim, an offense, and a criminal act, the question/hypothesis then becomes: Given these elements, why do those individuals or corporations that commit environmental criminal acts fail to get prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, or receive jail time? In addition, the Theoretical Framework is utilized to test the validity of an existing theory and data in relation to specific events, issues, and phenomena associated with polluted water samples in marginalized communities. As a result, and given the dynamics of today' s technological advances, this thesis explains environmental crime utilizing a Forensic Research Assessment approach as it relates to environmental criminal acts through the use of Graphic Information Systems (GIS), in an effort to provide a visual understanding and analysis of this research