QUESTIONNAIRE ITEMS FOR THE
1999 TEXAS CRIME POLL

Note to Users:  Data collection interviews were conducted by survey researchers through the Public Policy
Research Center at Texas A&M University.  The following questions were used by their interviewers who
constructed the coding scheme for each response value listed in the data set. A “Technical Report” showing
response and “conversion” rates posted as at 1999 Technical Report.
 

1.  Are you in favor of the death penalty for any of the following crimes? (record “yes” “no” after each item.
If respondent volunteers that “I do not favor the death penalty for any crimes, record all items as “no”
without asking.)

Murder
Rape
Treason
Armed Robbery
Arson
Kidnapping
Others? (Please record exact response : _______ )

2.  In regards to an inmate’s release from prison, should he or she serve the full sentence or be released early depending on his/her behavior in prison?

   serve full sentence
   be released early . . .

3. People are sometimes allowed to serve their prison sentences by staying in their own communities instead of actually going to prison. If the person breaks the rules of this “probation” he may then have to serve the sentence in prison.  Do you think that a person convicted of the following crimes should be considered for probation?  (Read the following list of crimes and record “yes” or “no” after each item.  Only read the parenthetical description if respondent asks for meaning.)

Aggravated Assault (intentionally causing serious bodily injury to another)
Arson
Auto Theft
Burglary (breaking into a house or business with intent to commit a crime)
Driving while intoxicated
Murder
Rape
Robbery (using force, or thereat of force to take someone’s money or property)
Sale of illegal drugs other than marijuana
Sale of marijuana
Shoplifting
Theft
Use of illegal drugs other than marijuana
Use of marijuana

4. Prisons may serve a number of different functions.  How important a function should each of the following be for Texas prisons? (Ask the following four questions in random order:)

Rehabilitation?
very important
somewhat important
not important

Punishment
very important
somewhat important
not important

Deterrence or serving as an example to keep people from committing crimes)
very important
somewhat important
not important

Incapacitation or isolating criminals from society
very important
somewhat important
not important

5.  Now, when you think about the criminal justice system in general, how important do you think it should each of the following be for the system that deals with adult criminals?  (read the following list in randomized order . . . )

Rehabilitation?
very important
somewhat important
not important

Punishment
very important
somewhat important
not important

Deterrence or serving as an example to keep people from committing crimes)
very important
somewhat important
not important

Incapacitation or isolating criminals from society
very important
somewhat important
not important

Reconciling victims, offenders and their communities.
very important
somewhat important
not important

6.  . . . and what about the juvenile justice system?  How important should each of the following be for the system that deals with juvenile offenders?

Rehabilitation?
very important
somewhat important
not important

Punishment
very important
somewhat important
not important

Deterrence or serving as an example to keep people from committing crimes)
very important
somewhat important
not important

Incapacitation or isolating criminals from society
very important
somewhat important
not important

Reconciling victims, offenders and their communities.
very important
somewhat important
not important

7.  Is there any area within one mile of your home where you would be afraid to walk at night?

Yes
No

8.  Would you be afraid to walk alone within one block of your home at night?

Yes
No

9. Before sentencing a defendant, should a jury be informed about the parole laws and how soon the defendant may be eligible for parole if he/she is sent to prison?

yes (If yes, ask:  7.a Do you think juries in capital murder trials should be told about the parole laws as they apply to people sentenced to “capital life?”
yes
no
no
 

 10. As a policy should police be allowed to use deadly force  . . . (Read the following and record “yes” “no” following each item; only read the example if respondent asks for more information.  If the respondent volunteers “I don’t think the police should ever use deadly force, record each of the following as “no”)

to prevent minor crimes against property (i.e. shoplifting)
to prevent major crimes against property (i.e. burglary or auto theft)
to prevent crimes of violence
to stop someone who is running away from a minor crime against property (i.e. shoplifting)
to stop someone who is running away from a major crime against property (i.e. burglary or auto theft)
to stop someone who is running away from a violent crime
to stop someone who is fleeing from a traffic violation
to protect themselves from injury or death

11. In general, do you believe that the police in Texas use too much force in dealing with criminals?

yes
no
 

12.  In general do you believe that the police in Texas use too much force in dealing with citizens?

yes
no
 
 

13. In general, when dealing with convicted criminals, do you feel the courts are too easy, doing a good job, or being too harsh?

too easy?
doing a good job?
too harsh?
 
 
 
 

14. Would you be willing to have your taxes increased to support any of the following?  Record “yes” “no” after each item:

Improved police services
Improved court system
More judges
More prison facilities
Improved probation services

 Finally, I would like to ask you some questions about yourself.

15.  What is your current age? (record exact number)

16.  Which of the following best describes your racial or ethnic group?
White
Hispanic
African American
Other, specify _____
DK
Refused

17.  What was the last grade of school you completed?
(do not read but record appropriately)

Grade 0 - 4
Grade 5 - 8
Grade 9 - 11, some high school
Grade 12, high school graduate
Some college, business or trade school work
College graduate
Graduate work
DK
Refused

18. What political party most closely represents your feelings:

Republican
Democrat
Independent
Other (specify __ )
DK
Refused

19. Which of the following most closely reflects the size of your community?

Rural
Small town
Small city
Suburb
Urban
DK
Refused

20.  What is your religious preference?

Protestant
Catholic
Jewish
Other (Specify ___ )
DK
Refused
 

21.  Please tell me your annual household income?
(don’t read but record appropriately)

Less than $15,000
Between $15, 000 and $30,000
Between $30,000 and $60,000
Over $60,000
DK
Refused

22.  Record the sex of the responded (do not read).

Male
Female
 

That completes the survey, thank you for your cooperation.