ISU Studies Public Perception Of Officials

40 percent believe crime in their neighborhoods has increased. Respondents were asked about their experiences with crime and their confidence in officials.

An associate professor in criminology at Indiana State University says a statewide survey shows little change in public perception of the criminal justice system over the past few years. Robert Huckabee says questions in the survey examined people’s opinions of police, judges, and the state prison system. Respondents were also asked about their experiences with crime, and about their confidence in local officials in the case of a terrorist attack.

Huckabee says 40 percent of the people surveyed believed crime in their neighborhoods had increased. 65 percent gave the police a grade of A or B, but only 25 percent of those surveyed said local first responders are very prepared to respond to a terrorist attack. Huckabee says the results can’t be analyzed without looking at the factors coloring people’s responses.

Phone numbers for the survey were selected at random from all 92 Indiana counties. Huckabee says the data came from 747 completed interviews done in late May and early June. He says a similar survey done in 2003 gave the research team some points of comparison, but he’s not drawing major conclusions yet.

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