Crime and Criminal Justice
Crime levels are important threads of the community fabric. Lower crime rates attract residents and businesses, help boost housing prices and quality of life, and support local institutions like schools. Higher crime levels depress house prices, increase residents' desire to leave (but not necessarily actual departures), and may reduce the willingness of business owners to locate in those communities. High crime rates persisting over time can result in communities being stigmatized. Also important are resident's attitudes toward criminal justice: their confidence in different elements of the system and their assessments of how local police do their work. These attitudes influence willingness to participate in key civic institutions. These indicators examine both crime rates and residents' opinions about the criminal justice system.