Scott Belshaw

Scott Belshaw


Ph.D., 2009, Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas. Major: Juvenile Justice. Dissertation: Contributing Factors to Suicide Ideation: An examination of sexual abuse and other risk factors in adolescent females under the supervision of the Texas Juvenile Justice System

M.A., 2005, University of Houston–Clear Lake, Houston, Texas. Major: Criminology

Certificate: Mediation, Arbitration, University of Houston, C. T. Bauer College of Business, Houston, Texas, 1999.

M.A., 1997, Houston Baptist University, Houston, Texas. Major: Liberal Arts, Graduate Coursework in English and Philosophy

B.S., 1994, University of Houston–Downtown, Houston, Texas. Major: Social Science/Psychology


Nodeland, B.,  Belshaw, S., & Saber M. (2018). Teaching Cyber Security to Criminal Justice Majors. Journal of Criminal Justice Education., O., Driver, N. & Belshaw, S. (2016). The Effect of Sexual Abuse on Deviant Behaviors among Turkish Adolescents: The Mediation Role of Emotions. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology

Mpofu, E., Rafe, C., Athanasou, J. & Belshaw, S. (2016). Cognitive-Behavior Therapy Efficacy for Reducing Recidivism Rates of Sexual Offenders: A Scoping Systematic Literature Review.  International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology

Siddique, J.A. & Belshaw, S.H. (2016).  Racial disparity in probationers’ views about probation. Race and Justice, 6 (3), 222-235.

Belshaw, S., Johnstone, P. & Siddique, J. (2015). Probation, Firearms, and Liability in Texas after Graham v. Owens (2009). Justice System Journal 36 (1).

Belshaw, S., Siddique, J., Rodriguez, J. & Ramos, V. (2013). The Relationship Between Drug Type and Suicidal Behaviors in a National Sample of Adolescents. Journal of Knowledge and Best Practices in Juvenile Justice and Psychology.  7:1  29-34

Belshaw, S. (2012). Private Investigations as an Emerging Trend in Criminal Justice Education? A Case Study of Texas.  Journal of Criminal Justice Education  23 (4) 462-480  *Selected for Research Presentation at JCJE Showcase at ACJS Annual Conference.

Belshaw, S., Siddique, J., Tanner, J. & Osho, S. (2012). The Relationship between Dating Violence and Suicidal Behaviors in a National Sample of Adolescents. Violence and Victims (27) 4: 580-591

Trulson, C., Caudill, J., Belshaw, S. & DeLisi, M. (2011). A Problem of Fit: Extreme Delinquents, Blended Sentencing, and the Determinants of Continued Adult Sanctions. Criminal Justice Policy Review. 23(3) 263-284

Scott Belshaw, Criminal Justice

Learn how to learn, keep an open mind and help others solve problems

Aug. 20, 2018, Denton, Texas — In the criminal justice arena, the ability to fight terrorism, use technology to track mobile phones and gather reliable intelligence are just a few of the biggest challenges—and opportunities—for promising new CJ graduates.

Scott Belshaw, associate professor of criminal justice and director of the UNT Cyber Forensics Lab, helps students learn how to solve problems, then help others solve problems and contribute to the knowledge base. As a teacher for 14 years, Belshaw says teaching has become a conversation—it's not a lecture at the front of the class with mind-numbing PowerPoints slides or constant coding and learning by rote in criminal justice.

Students must use their brains and then the gadgets—in that order, Belshaw said. Several competencies are important in criminal justice, but none more than the abilities to learn, keep learning and to understand creative thinking.

It's about being more creative than the scammers, villains and shady characters. Belshaw helps prospective and new students understand the difference between education and training. "Education is all about gaining theoretical knowledge; training refers to an act of teaching or learning specific skills and criminal justice students must have both. More and more police academies now require at least a bachelor's degree. Gone are the days when a high school graduate could get a job in law enforcement—a sign of the times."

Get the Education and Skills: Go Broad to Narrow

Most freshman and sophomore students at UNT already understand the benefits of a degree, but students with an edge are those who are motivated to do what they have to do—the homework, the reading, attending class—without losing their passion for their career goal, said Belshaw. "In a CJ graduate student, I'm looking for open-mindedness, no arrogance, and a willingness to learn from the experience of others." Including classes in psychology, philosophy and other cultures in their academic plan can be a real benefit to criminal justice majors, he said. General survey courses can help students better identify what sparks their passion and to narrow down their choices.

Students at every level must expand their ability to learn and think creatively and never stop learning. We have to hunt the bad guys, thieves, drug traffickers and pedophiles, and know how to surf the dark web on the Tor network. Cyber forensics demands original, inventive and ingenious thinking, Belshaw said. Knowing how to manage people also benefits a CJ professional, so management classes are another good area in an CJ major's academic plan.

Opportunity Knocks because Robbers, Scammers and Thieves

Every day the news is full of announcements about the new tech products, new tech services and new tech methods that will make us better, happier and successful. Unfortunately, the criminals also are read those press releases and they are getting better, happier and more successful too.

Lock your doors, be aware of your surroundings, shoplifters will be prosecuted, use complex passwords: crime is everywhere and so is the potential to work in crime prevention and law enforcement.

Critical thinking skills along with high tech skills are the ideal in any field, but the applications in CJ are not the usual software. Being able to navigate through Windows, Android, iPhone/iPad and Mac OS devices, social media and the internet with commanding proficiency is imperative for the criminal justice professional of tomorrow.

High Tech Side of CJ: Digital Forensics Software

FTK, Forensics ToolKit: FTK, made by AccessData, uses distributed processing and is the only forensics solution to fully leverage multi-thread/multi-core computers. It scans a hard drive looking for various information. It can, for example, locate deleted emails and scan a disk for text strings to use them as a password dictionary to crack the encryption.

Mobilyze: Made by BlackBag Technologies, this software is used by hundreds of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies around the world for criminal investigations, as well as leading corporations and consultants handling human resource investigations and electronic-discovery matters in lawsuits and investigations.

Cellebrite: A software empowers law enforcement, military and intelligence, and corporate customers with relevant and defensible digital evidence to build stronger cases. Cellebrite Mobile Synchronization is an Israeli company that manufactures data extraction, transfer and analysis devices for cellular phones and mobile devices. The company is a subsidiary of Japan's Sun Corporation.

An Abundance of Options

With abundant opportunities to work in the field, Belshaw encourages his students to keep their minds open, consider the many options in business, government and academia, and move around before deciding where to specialize.

Scott Belshaw with IguanasBelshaw took his own advice and moved around the field. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, a former district and county probation officer and private investigator. He worked on State Senator Florence Shapiro's K2 Task Force to identify the appropriate chemical compounds in synthetic marijuana to be included in the bill to ban those compounds from Texas. He also worked with the committee to develop the penalty structure for those who violate the law. Frequently invited to speak, Belshaw spoke to criminology students about the probation system in Texas and capital punishment issues in the U.S. at the invitation of the University of West London, England. Belshaw also taught real estate companies about skip-tracing, the action or practice of locating people who are missing or have defaulted on a debt, especially as a profession. Busy as a research scientist, Belshaw maintains a full research agenda, serves as the creator and curriculum designer for the CJ program and teaches private investigation classes to members of the general public along with his graduate and undergraduate classes. Belshaw also reviews manuscripts for Criminal Justice Policy Review, Journal of Adolescence, Justice System Journal, Journal of Family Violence and others.

Belshaw's credits his father George for inspiring him to set his sights high. An aerospace engineering graduate of Auburn University, Auburn, Ala., George taught his two sons to be curious and creative. A developer of flight vehicles for the Apollo Program, George also worked on NASA flight-vehicle-temperature management and Apollo missions 7 through 10 for preparation for the flights to the moon and missions 11 through 17 for lunar travel. George was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work on the Apollo 13 mission. He also worked on the NASA Space Shuttle programs and rockets.

A family man with two sons, Belshaw, pictured with iguanas in Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico, says he enjoys traveling, sports and pursuing his academic interests.

Belshaw's interests include the following.

Research Interests
Cyber Security and Crime
Private Security and Private Investigations
Adult Corrections: Community Supervision
Cyber Security Technology
Digital Forensics

Teaching Interests
Ethical Issues
Research Methods
Juvenile Delinquency
Private Security Issues and Liability
Corrections, Community and Institutional
Criminal/Forensic Psychology
Information Warfare

Learn more about majoring in criminal justice at UNT

Criminal Justice for the undergraduate through the Department of Criminal Justice, College of Health and Public Service

UNT Cyber Forensics Lab — recently moved back to Denton and is now operation in Chilton Hall

Online master's degree in criminal justice

Alpha Phi Sigma, national criminal justice honor society

Lambda Alpha Epsilon, criminal justice pre-professional society

Study Abroad in Criminal Justice | Student Trip in 2018

Twitter: UNT Cyber Forensics Lab @UNTcyberlab

Contact Dr. Belshaw: 940-565-4591  |  |  Chilton Hall, Room 273H  | Twitter: @drscottbelshaw



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