The Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet is seeking to survey residents across the state about their experiences with crime and law enforcement as part of an effort to improve data for policy makers.
The cabinet’s Criminal Justice Statistical Analysis Center is sending surveys to roughly 30,000 Kentuckians this month to supplement other official sources of data such as arrests, court cases and federal statistics. The surveys will query residents about their experiences with a variety or crime – everything from property offenses to violence. Some questions will focus on contact with law enforcement and perceptions of safety in the community.
Kentucky has conducted six victimization surveys since 1989, helping state leaders keep abreast of crime trends and develop responsive polices. Information from the survey will not only support research in Kentucky but also allow the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics to supplement its federal data. For the first time, the data will include a breakdown by area development districts.
A second phase of the statewide survey – scheduled for later this month – will focus on roughly 2,000 individuals who receive overnight shelter and services through organizations located throughout the Commonwealth. That will allow analysts to compare the victimization experiences of those with and without stable housing. It will also help develop targeted interventions for those struggling with housing instability.
Selected residents have already been notified by postcard that they will be receiving a survey, which takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete. The survey responses are anonymous and focus on the individual’s experiences over the past 12 months. The Criminal Justice Statistical Analysis Center is asking all selected residents to complete and return the survey in a timely fashion.