Newsroom Archive


National Poll Shows Voters Rank Crime Even With Health Care and Economy

Findings indicate voters want Elected Officials to Spend More Time Talking About Specific Ways to Prevent Crime

New York City, December 3, 2007– While crime hasn’t been at the forefront of the debate in the presidential campaign, a national survey released today by John Jay College of Criminal Justice indicates that registered voters across the nation consider crime on par with the economy and health care, and they want elected officials to pay more attention to crime and prevention and talk less about terrorism.

The poll, conducted by Global Strategy Group for John Jay College, surveyed 1,000 registered voters across the nation from October 29 – November 13. It has a margin of error of +/- 3.5%. The poll, made possible through a grant from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the Open Society Institute, will be released at the Third Annual Guggenheim Symposium (December 3-4) being held at John Jay College.

The notion that people are still worried about crime where they live, and ways to address it, “isn’t a surprise at all,” said John Jay College President Jeremy Travis.

According to Travis, “Our Center on Media, Crime & Justice conducted this poll, in part, to focus attention on the public’s perception of crime and to insure that the public’s concerns are heard and addressed by our elected officials and the media. If you’ve watched the presidential debates over the past few months, you’re hard-pressed to hear a discourse on crime. You hear a lot about security and terrorism – incredibly important issues, to be sure – but not about crime.”

This poll indicates that candidates need to discuss crime – its causes, and potential ways to address it because voters are ready to listen.”

Travis also noted that the poll – attached to this press release – contains a “lot of interesting information regarding the public and how it views potential ways to address chronic crime.’

According to the poll, 53% of American voters consider crime a very serious problem. Furthermore, 43% would like the media to focus more attention on crime prevention and less on crimes committed. And 36% believe that elected officials are not talking enough about preventing crime.

When asked to identify the primary reasons for crime, 33% said drugs and alcohol, 17% said poverty and only 6% said illegal immigration.

Click Here to view John Jay Topline Report.
Click Here to view John Jay Poll Presentation.

About the Center on Media, Crime and Justice
The Center’s mission is to raise the quality of media coverage on criminal justice issues around the nation by helping journalists interpret current academic research. In addition, the Center aims to establish itself as a national resource of information from an international network of recognized scholars, practitioners and NGOs.

The Center is a partnership of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York (CUNY) with the Institute for Justice and Journalism (IJJ) at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Annenberg School for Communication; Criminal Justice Journalists (CJJ), a national organization of reporters covering crime and justice; and the new CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

About John Jay College of Criminal Justice:
An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit