TEXAS CRIME POLL

2000 SURVEY





Hello, this is _________________________ calling from Texas A&M University. We are conducting a survey about people's attitudes and opinions towards various issues in American society. May I speak with the adult 18 years of age or older in your household who has the next birthday? Your responses are not linked to telephone numbers to guarantee anonymity. You do not have to answer any question that makes you feel uncomfortable.
 
 
 
 

a1 First of all, what do you consider to be the single most important problem facing your local community?

(field code)

crime 11

drugs 12

poverty/economy 13

government 14

decline of family values 15

criminal justice/legal system 16

gangs 17

education 18

other 19 please specify ___________________

don't know 98

refused 99

a2 What do you consider to be the single most important problem facing the state of

Texas?

(field code)

crime 11

drugs 12

poverty/economy 13

government 14

decline of family values 15

criminal justice/legal system 16

gangs 17

education 18

other 19 please specify ___________________

don't know 98

refused 99

a3 What do you consider to be the single most important problem facing the

country?

(field code)

crime 11

drugs 12

poverty/economy 13

government 14

decline of family values 15

criminal justice/legal system 16

gangs 17

education 18

other 19 please specify ___________________

don't know 98

refused 99

b1 On another matter, please rate the job being done by each of the following

agencies on a scale of excellent, above average, adequate, below average

and poor. For example, how would you rate the job being done by your local

police?

(read choices if necessary)

excellent 1

above average 2

adequate 3

below average 4

poor 5

don't know 8

refused 9

b2 Your local sheriff's department?

(read choices if necessary)

excellent 1

above average 2

adequate 3

below average 4

poor 5

don't know 8

refused 9

b3 The state level police, Department of Public Safety?

(read choices if necessary)

excellent 1

above average 2

adequate 3

below average 4

poor 5

don't know 8

refused 9

b4 Your local judge?

(read choices if necessary)

excellent 1

above average 2

adequate 3

below average 4

poor 5

don't know 8

refused 9

b5 Your state level judges?

(read choices if necessary)

excellent 1

above average 2

adequate 3

below average 4

poor 5

don't know 8

refused 9

b6 Your county level probation department?

(read choices if necessary)

excellent 1

above average 2

adequate 3

below average 4

poor 5

don't know 8

refused 9

b7 The Texas prison system?

(read choices if necessary)

excellent 1

above average 2

adequate 3

below average 4

poor 5

don't know 8

refused 9

b8 The state parole system?

(read choices if necessary)

excellent 1

above average 2

adequate 3

below average 4

poor 5

don't know 8

refused 9

Now I would like to ask you some questions designed to measure how concerned you are about different crimes. I will ask about how likely it is that you think you will become the victim of one of these crimes during the next 12 months. On a scale of 1-10 where the value of 1 represents not very likely and 10 represents very likely how likely do you think it is that you will become of victim of: (randomize list c1-c22) c1 Being approached on the street by a beggar or panhandler?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

don't know 98

refused 99

c2 Being cheated, conned, or swindled out of your money (Theft)? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

don't know 98

refused 99

c3 Having someone break into your home while you are away (Burglary)? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

don't know 98

refused 99

c4 Having someone break into your home while you are there? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

don't know 98

refused 99

c5 Being raped or sexually assaulted (Rape)? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

don't know 98

refused 99

c6 Being murdered (Murder)? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

don't know 98

refused 99

c7 Being attacked by someone with a weapon (Aggravated Assault)? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

don't know 98

refused 99

c8 Having your car stolen (Auto Theft)? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

don't know 98

refused 99

c9 Being robbed or mugged on the street (Robbery)? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

don't know 98

refused 99

c10 Having your property damaged by vandals? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

don't know 98

refused 99

c11 Being physically attacked because of your religious beliefs? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

don't know 98

refused 99

c12 Being physically attacked because of your sexual orientation? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

don't know 98

refused 99

c13 Being physically attacked because of your ethnicity? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

don't know 98

refused 99

c14 Having your property vandalized because of your religious beliefs? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

don't know 98

refused 99

c15 Having your property vandalized because of your sexual orientation? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

don't know 98

refused 99

c16 Having your property vandalized because of your ethnicity? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

don't know 98

refused 99

c17 Having your computer disabled by a virus? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

not applicable 97

don't know 98

refused 99

c18 Having any personal information about yourself accessed by computer? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

don't know 98

refused 99

c19 Being the victim of computer fraud? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

don't know 98

refused 99

c20 Having computer data stolen? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

don't know 98

refused 99

c21 Having computer time stolen? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

don't know 98

refused 99

c22 Terrorist attacks on computer systems? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

don't know 98

refused 99

c23 Having your child or minor access pornography on the Internet? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

not applicable 97 (SKIP TO D1)

don't know 98

refused 99

c24 Having your children being pursued by adults using the computer or Internet? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

don't know 98

refused 99

d1 Please tell me how much you agree or disagree with each of the following

solutions to the problem of overcrowding in Texas's prisons on a scale ranging

from strongly agree, agree, disagree to strongly disagree. What about:

building more prisons?

Strongly agree 1

Agree 2

Disagree 3

Strongly disagree 4

Don't know 8

Refused 9

d2 Converting existing buildings into prisons?

(read choices if necessary)

Strongly agree 1

Agree 2

Disagree 3

Strongly disagree 4

Don't know 8

Refused 9

d3 Giving convicted criminals shorter prison sentences?

(read choices if necessary)

Strongly agree 1

Agree 2

Disagree 3

Strongly disagree 4

Don't know 8

Refused 9

d4 Sentencing more criminals to probation instead of prison?

(read choices if necessary)

Strongly agree 1

Agree 2

Disagree 3

Strongly disagree 4

Don't know 8

Refused 9

d5 Releasing non-violent offenders from prison early?

(read choices if necessary)

Strongly agree 1

Agree 2

Disagree 3

Strongly disagree 4

Don't know 8

Refused 9

d6 Using electronic monitoring devices on offenders being supervised in the

community?

(read choices if necessary)

Strongly agree 1

Agree 2

Disagree 3

Strongly disagree 4

Don't know 8

Refused 9

d7 Using boot camps for first time offenders?

(read choices if necessary)

Strongly agree 1

Agree 2

Disagree 3

Strongly disagree 4

Don't know 8

Refused 9

d8 Using boot camps for all offenders?

(read choices if necessary)

Strongly agree 1

Agree 2

Disagree 3

Strongly disagree 4

Don't know 8

Refused 9

e1 Moving to another topic, please tell me whether you feel that people convicted

of each of the following crimes should be considered for probation. What about:

Aggravated Assault (intentionally causing serious bodily injury to another)?

Yes 1

No 2

Don't know 8

Refused 9

e2 Arson? Yes 1

No 2

Don't know 8

Refused 9

e3 Auto Theft? Yes 1

No 2

Don't know 8

Refused 9

e4 Burglary (breaking into a house or business with intent to commit a crime)? Yes 1

No 2

Don't know 8

Refused 9

e5 Driving while intoxicated? Yes 1

No 2

Don't know 8

Refused 9

e6 Murder? Yes 1

No 2

Don't know 8

Refused 9

e7 Rape? Yes 1

No 2

Don't know 8

Refused 9

e8 Robbery (using force or threat of force to take someone's money or property from them)?

Yes 1

No 2

Don't know 8

Refused 9

e9 Sale of illegal drugs other than marijuana? Yes 1

No 2

Don't know 8

Refused 9

e10 Sale of marijuana? Yes 1

No 2

Don't know 8

Refused 9

e11 Shoplifting? Yes 1

No 2

Don't know 8

Refused 9

e12 Theft? Yes 1

No 2

Don't know 8

Refused 9

e13 Use of illegal drugs other than marijuana? Yes 1

No 2

Don't know 8

Refused 9

e14 Use of marijuana? Yes 1

No 2

Don't know 8

Refused 9

e15 Not in favor of probation for any of the above offenses.

(record only if volunteered by respondent)

yes 1

e16 When you think about your adult probation department, what do think should be its most important purpose?

(record verbatim)

________________________

don't know 98

refused 99

f1 On another matter, are you in favor of the death penalty?

Yes 1

No 2 (SKIP TO F4)

Don't know 8 (SKIP TO F3)

Refused 9 (SKIP TO F4)

f2 If there were a true life sentence without the possibility of parole, would you

continue to support the death penalty?

Yes 1 (SKIP TO F4)

No 2 (SKIP TO F4)

Don't know 8 (SKIP TO F4)

Refused 9 (SKIP TO F4)

f3 If there were a true life sentence without the possibility of parole, would you

continue to be uncertain?

Yes 1

No, I'd oppose the death penalty if there were a true life sentence 2

available

No, I'd be more likely to support the death penalty than life without 3

parole

don't know 8

refused 9

Please tell me whether you are in favor of the death penalty being available for

each of the following crimes. What about:

yes no DK RF

f4 Murder? 1 2 8 9

f5 Rape? 1 2 8 9

f6 Armed robbery? 1 2 8 9

f7 Arson? 1 2 8 9

f8 Treason? 1 2 8 9

f9 Kidnapping? 1 2 8 9

f10 Terrorism? 1 2 8 9

f11 How much confidence do you have that death penalty system in Texas protects innocent people from being executed? Would you say a lot of confidence, some confidence, little confidence or no confidence?

A lot of confidence 1

Some confidence 2

Little confidence 3

No confidence 4

Donít know 8

Refused 9

f12 How often do you think innocent people have been executed in Texas? Would

you say never, rarely, occasionally or frequently?

Never 1 (SKIP TO F14) Rarely 2

Occasionally 3

Frequently 4

Don't know 8 (SKIP TO F14)

Refused 9 (SKIP TO F14)

f13 How many of the last 100 people executed in Texas do you think were innocent? (Record exact number)

____ ____ ____

don't know 888

refused 999

f14 Do you think there should be a "moratorium" on Texas's executions (a period of time during which there are no people executed in Texas) until the system can be studied to make sure innocent people are not being executed?

Yes 1

No 2

Donít know 8

Refused 9

f15 How much confidence do you have that the death penalty in Texas is being imposed fairly on POOR PEOPLE? Would you say a lot of confidence, some confidence, little confidence or no confidence?

A lot of confidence 1

Some confidence 2

Little confidence 3

No confidence 4

Don't know 8

Refused 9

f15a How much confidence do you have that the death penalty in Texas is being imposed fairly on MEMEBERS OF MINORITY GROUPS? Would you say a lot of confidence, some confidence, little confidence or no confidence?

A lot of confidence 1

Some confidence 2

Little confidence 3

No confidence 4

Don't know 8

Refused 9

f16 Do you think there should be a "moratorium" on Texas's executions until the system

can be studied to make sure poor people are not being treated differently than people with money?

Yes 1

No 2

Don't know 8

Refused 9

f16 Do you think there should be a "moratorium" on Texas's executions until the system can be studied to make sure members of minority groups are not being treated differently than whites?

Yes 1

No 2

Don't know 8

Refused 9
 
 

f17 How much confidence do you have that people convicted of capital crimes in Texas have acceptable levels of access to the appeal process? Would you say a

lot of confidence, some confidence, little confidence or no confidence?

A lot of confidence 1

Some confidence 2

Little confidence 3

No confidence 4

Don't know 8

Refused 9

f18 Do you think there should be a "moratorium" on Texas's executions until the system can be studied to make sure people convicted of capital crimes have acceptable levels of access to the appeal process?

Yes 1

No 2

Don't know 8

Refused 9

f19 During the past three months about how many news stories regarding the death

penalty would you say you have read, seen or heard about in newspapers,

magazines, radio or television? Would you say many, some, few or none?

Many 1

Some 2

Few 3

None 4 (SKIP TO X1)

Don't know 8 (SKIP TO X1)

Refused 9 (SKIP TO X1)

f20 Would you say that these news stories have been mainly favorable to the death

penalty, unfavorable to the death penalty, neither favorable nor unfavorable, or

an equal mix of favorable and unfavorable?

Favorable to the death penalty 1

Unfavorable to the death penalty 2

Neither favorable nor unfavorable 3

Equal mix of favorable and unfavorable 4

Don't know 8

Refused 9

F21 How much confidence do you have that people charged with capital murder in Texas receive competent legal representation during their trial? Would you say a lot of confidence, some confidence, little confidence or no confidence?

A lot of confidence 1

Some confidence 2

Little confidence 3

No confidence 4

Don't know 8

Refused 9

F22 Do you think there should be a "moratorium" on Texas's executions until the system can be studied to make that people charged with capital murder in Texas receive competent legal representation during their trial?

Yes 1

No 2

Don't know 8

Refused 9

x1 Finally, I'd like to ask some questions about yourself? What is your age?

(record exact number)

____ ____

97 or older 97

don't know 98

refused 99

x2 Which of the following best describes your racial or ethnic group? Would you

say White, Black, Hispanic, Bi-racial, Multi-racial or other?

White 1

Black 2

Hispanic 3

Asian 4

Bi-racial 5

Multi-racial 6

Other 7 please specify _________

Don't know 8

Refused 9

x3 What was the last grade of school you completed?

(do not read)

Grade 0 - 4 1

Grade 5 - 8 2

Grade 9 - 11, some high school 3

Grade 12, high school graduate 4

Some college, business or trade school work 5

College graduate 6

Graduate work 7

Don't know 8

Refused 9

x4 On average, how would you consider your computer usage? Would you say

none, low, moderate or frequent?

None 1 (SKIP TO X6)

Low 2

Moderate 3

Frequent 4

Don't know 8

Refused 9

x5 During a typical week, how many hours do you spend using the internet or the "World Wide Web?"

(record exact number)

____ ____

97 or more 97

don't know 98

refused 99

x6 From which one source do you get most of your news about crime? Would you say television, newspapers, co-workers, friends, neighbors or other?

Television 1

Newspapers 2

Co-workers 3

Friends 4

Neighbors 5

Other 6 please specify _____________

Don't know 8

Refused 9

x7 What political party most closely represents your feelings? Would you say

Republican, Democrat, Independent or other?

Republican 1

Democrat 2

Independent 3

Other, 4 please specify __________________

Don't know 8

Refused 9

x8 Which of the following most closely reflects the size of your community, rural,

small town, small city, suburb or urban?

Rural 1

Small town 2

Small city 3

Suburb 4

Urban 5

Don't know 8

Refused 9

x9 What is your religious preference, Protestant, Catholic, Jewish or other? Protestant 1

Catholic 2

Jewish 3

Other, 4 please specify, ___________________

Don't know 8

Refused 9

x10 Finally, please tell me your annual household income? Would you say less than

$ 15,000, between $ 15 and $ 30,000, between $ 30 and $ 60,000, or over

$ 60,000?

Less than $15,000 1

Between $15, 000 and $30,000 2

Between $30,000 and $60,000 3

Over $60,000 4

Don't know 8

Refused 9

x11 Record the sex of the respondent.

(do not read)

Male 1

Female 2

That completes the survey. Thanks for your cooperation!