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Punishment of Criminals, Attitude about

NOTE: We already have an item about the death penalty. This item should attempt to capture questions about the general nature of criminal punishment. Are we too lenient on criminals? Are criminals punished too harshly?


Below are 45 questions from surveys in the ARDA that attempt to measure this concept.

  • Q39I from Baylor Religion Survey, 2005LEARN MORE
    • Q39 To what extent do you agree or disagree that the federal government should..i. Punish criminals more harshly (Q39I) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • COURTS from General Social Survey, 2002LEARN MORE
    • In general, do you think the courts in this area deal too harshly or not harshly enough with criminals? (COURTS) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • VCF0524 from American National Election Studies, Cumulative Data File, 1948-2004LEARN MORE
    • Some people are primarily concerned with doing everything possible to protect the legal rights of those accused of committing crimes. Others feel that it is more important to stop criminal activity even at the risk of reducing the rights of the accused. Where would you place the Democratic Party? (VCF0524) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • VCF0525 from American National Election Studies, Cumulative Data File, 1948-2004LEARN MORE
    • Republican Party -- respondents rating of party on rights of accused scale (VCF0525) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • VCF0832 from American National Election Studies, Cumulative Data File, 1948-2004LEARN MORE
    • Some people are primarily concerned with doing everything possible to protect the legal rights of those accused of committing crimes. Others feel that it is more important to stop criminal activity even at the risk of reducing the rights of the accused. Where would you place yourself on this scale, or havent you thought much about this? (VCF0832) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • SOCPROB1 from American National Election Studies, 2000LEARN MORE
    • Some people say that the best way to reduce crime is to address the social problems that cause crime, like bad schools, poverty and joblessness. (Suppose these people are at one end of a scale, at point 1.) Other people say the best way to reduce crime is to make sure that criminals are caught, convicted and punished. (Suppose these people are at the other end, at point 7.) And, of course, some other people have opinions somewhere in between at points 2,3,4,5 or 6. Where would you place yourself on this scale or havent you thought much about this? (SOCPROB1) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • COURTS from General Social Survey, 2004LEARN MORE
    • In general, do you think the courts in this area deal too harshly or not harshly enough with criminals? (COURTS) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • COURTS from General Social Survey, 2006LEARN MORE
    • In general, do you think the courts in this area deal too harshly or not harshly enough with criminals? (COURTS) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • GUNSDRUG from General Social Survey, 2006LEARN MORE
    • Should penalties for illegally selling guns be tougher, less tough, or about as tough as penalties for illegally selling drugs? (GUNSDRUG) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • ALTSENT from Houston Area Survey, 1982-2010LEARN MORE
    • Which would be the best way of dealing with people who have been convicted of non-violent criminal offenses [rotate]: community service; closely-supervised probation; or: imprisonment? (99, 05) (ALTSENT) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • LESSCRIM from Houston Area Survey, 1982-2010LEARN MORE
    • What would be more effective in reducing crime [rotate]: Spending (large sums of/the same) money to send criminals to prison and keep them there a long time; or: Spending (large sums of/the same) money to reduce poverty and to keep young people in school? (91, 94, 96, 99, 10) (LESSCRIM) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • LESSJAIL from Houston Area Survey, 1982-2010LEARN MORE
    • Some states are moving away from the idea of mandatory prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea? (02) (LESSJAIL) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • PRISONS2 from Houston Area Survey, 1982-2010LEARN MORE
    • Which of these policies do you think would be more effective in reducing crime [rotate]: Giving longer and tougher prison sentences; or: Providing better education and treatment programs to help prisoners return to society? (89, 97, 00) (PRISONS2) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • COURTS from General Social Survey, 2000LEARN MORE
    • In general, do you think the courts in this area deal too harshly or not harshly enough with criminals? (COURTS) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • W1P16 from American National Election Studies, Panel Study, 2008-2009LEARN MORE
    • Imagine that the U.S. government suspects a person in the United States of being a terrorist. Do you favor, oppose, or neither favor nor oppose the government being able to put this person in prison for months without ever bringing the person to court and charging him or her with a crime? (W1P16) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • COURTS from General Social Survey, 1990LEARN MORE
    • In general, do you think the courts in this area deal too harshly or not harshly enough with criminals? (COURTS) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • COURTS from General Social Survey, 1996LEARN MORE
    • In general, do you think the courts in this area deal too harshly or not harshly enough with criminals? (COURTS) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • FED_SP6 from American National Election Studies, 2002LEARN MORE
    • Next I am going to read you a list of federal programs. For each one, I would like you to tell me whether you would like to see spending increased or decreased: -- DEALING WITH CRIME (FED_SP6) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • FEDSPP15 from American National Election Studies, 2002LEARN MORE
    • Next I am going to read you a list of federal programs. For each one, I would like you to tell me whether you would like to see spending increased or decreased: -- PRE-POST SUMMARY: CHILD CARE - FEDERAL SPENDING (FEDSPP15) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • FEDSPP16 from American National Election Studies, 2002LEARN MORE
    • Next I am going to read you a list of federal programs. For each one, I would like you to tell me whether you would like to see spending increased or decreased: -- FEDERAL SPENDING: HOMELAND SECURITY (FEDSPP16) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • COURTS from General Social Survey, 1988LEARN MORE
    • In general, do you think the courts in this area deal too harshly or not harshly enough with criminals? (COURTS) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • COURTS from General Social Survey, 1991LEARN MORE
    • In general, do you think the courts in this area deal too harshly or not harshly enough with criminals? (COURTS) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • STIFFPUN from General Social Survey, 1991LEARN MORE
    • Here are some measures to deal with crime. Some people are in favor of them while other people are against them. Do you agree or disagree that . . . People who break the law should be given stiffer sentences. (STIFFPUN) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • I1LAWS from State of Disunion Survey, 1996LEARN MORE
    • Please tell me how much you think each of the following would help to improve things in this country. How about . . . a. if there were tougher laws and penalties to deter crime? Would that help a lot, somewhat, only a little or not at all? (I1LAWS) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • SC4HARSH from State of Disunion Survey, 1996LEARN MORE
    • Many believe that crime is one of Americas greatest contemporary problems. How important do you think each of the following is to solving this problem? Is it very important, important, somewhat important, or not important? Harsher sentences (SC4HARSH) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • V158A from American Mosaic Project: A National Survey on DiversityLEARN MORE
    • Next I will read a list of statements about crime and your community. Please tell me whether you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree, with the following statements: The courts are too lenient with criminals. (V158A) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • COURTS from General Social Survey, 1998LEARN MORE
    • In general, do you think the courts in this area deal too harshly or not harshly enough with criminals? (COURTS) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • COURTS from General Social Survey, 1976LEARN MORE
    • In general, do you think the courts in this area deal too harshly or not harshly enough with criminals? (COURTS) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • COURTS from General Social Survey, 1980LEARN MORE
    • In general, do you think the courts in this area deal too harshly or not harshly enough with criminals? (COURTS) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • LESSCRIM from Houston Area Survey, 2010LEARN MORE
    • What would be more effective in reducing crime [rotate]: Spending (large sums of/the same) money to send criminals to prison and keep them there a long time; or: Spending (large sums of/the same) money to reduce poverty and to keep young people in school? (LESSCRIM) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • COURTS from General Social Survey, 1978LEARN MORE
    • In general, do you think the courts in this area deal too harshly or not harshly enough with criminals? (COURTS) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • PRISONS from Lilly Survey of Attitudes and Social NetworksLEARN MORE
    • We should spend more money on prisons so that we can put criminals away for a long time. (PRISONS) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • COURTS from General Social Survey, 1994LEARN MORE
    • In general, do you think the courts in this area deal too harshly or not harshly enough with criminals? (COURTS) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • COURTS from General Social Survey, 1993LEARN MORE
    • In general, do you think the courts in this area deal too harshly or not harshly enough with criminals? (COURTS) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • AGREE1CC from July 2003 Values Update SurveyLEARN MORE
    • [ASK ONLY IF FORM=1 1]Now I am going to read you another series of statements on some different topics. For each statement, please tell me if you completely agree with it, mostly agree with it, mostly DISagree with it or completely disagree with it. : The criminal justice system should try to rehabilitate criminals, not just punish them (AGREE1CC) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
  • HATECR2B from Southern Focus Poll, Oversample Survey, Spring 1996LEARN MORE
    • [ASKED ONLY OF RESPONDENTS WHO SAID HATE CRIME LAWS ARE A BAD IDEA] How do you feel about laws that impose extra penalties on people who vandalize synagogues, churches, mosques, or cemeteries? Do you think that special penalties for this type of vandalism would be a good idea or bad idea? (HATECR2B) EXPAND/COLLAPSE
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