A random sample of 4,500 Florida adults ages 18 and over provided information regarding their fear of crime, perceived safety, concern about selected crimes, attitudes toward police, worry about their own children, concerns about types of strangers, and opinions on crime control policies and juvenile justice policies.
The survey took place during October-December 1997. Participants responded over the telephone to questions that took about 15 minutes to complete. Results revealed that 13 percent of Floridians reported feeling unsafe in their neighborhood at night; 5 percent felt unsafe in their homes. Both these percentages were lower than similar results reported for a national sample in 1996. More than two-thirds of participants expressed high concern for violent crime (77.1 percent), drug trafficking (76.3 percent), domestic assault (72.6 percent) and hate crimes (68 percent). Seventy-eight percent expressed satisfaction with their police protection and agreed that the police were helpful in dealing with neighborhood problems. Worry about their children joining a gang, being murdered, or becoming addicted to drugs increased appreciably between 1996 and 1997. A total of 67.6 percent expressed high support for more severe sentences for all crimes. The juvenile justice policies receiving the greatest support were preventive measures such as more jobs for young people (83.4 percent), programs for pregnant teenagers (82.8 percent), and big brother/sister role-model programs (81 percent). Maps and names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and fax and telephone numbers from which to obtain more information