Gov. Patton’s speech:
Press Conference to Announce Victimization Survey
Capitol Rotunda
June 28, 1999


Good afternoon.

We’re here today to announce that Kentucky will undertake our first extensive survey of crime in the Commonwealth.

We know that every year, thousands of Kentucky citizens are victimized by crime, but neither the arrest data kept by the State Police nor the data maintained by our court system can tell us exactly how many.

Nationally, over 60% of crime victims never report their experience to the police.

In Kentucky, while about 1000 cases of rape are reported to law enforcement agencies every year, over 6000 rape victims reach out for help to a Rape Crisis Center because of their experience.

That’s just one example of why we need to supplement what arrest and court data can tell us about crime by asking Kentucky citizens directly.

The1999 Kentucky Crime Victimization Survey is the tool which’ll allow us to do that.

This victimization survey will ask Kentuckians about three major areas.

First, their perception of how the criminal justice system’s working.

Are they satisfied with the effectiveness of police agencies,

prosecutors, the courts and Kentucky’s prison system?

Secondly, do Kentuckians feel safe in their communities?

Are they afraid to walk in their neighborhoods,

or do they believe that’s safe for their families?

Does the fear of crime differ based on what part of the Commonwealth they live in?

The third major area that will be assessed in the survey’s the actual experience of crime Kentuckians have had in the past year.

We’ll assess how many have been robbed, assaulted, raped, or otherwise directly victimized by crime.

The questionnaire is being mailed to a random sample of 18,000 Kentuckians who are over the age of 18.

Those selected individuals received a post card last week notifying them that they would be asked to participate in the written survey.

The actual survey will arrive in those homes in the next few days.

I’m very hopeful that every Kentucky family which receives the survey will take time to complete and return it by the July 20th deadline.

Their input will give us extremely valuable information we can use to improve the criminal justice system, input we can get from no other source.

I’m particularly interested in seeing feedback from victims,

 

both those who reported the crime and those who did not.

Their responses to the survey will give us key information about the true cost and consequences of crime.

The federal government has long recognized the need for victimization data.

In fact, the Bureau of Justice Statistics has been conducting a National Crime Victimization Survey since 1972.

Kentucky is one of the few states to follow this lead, making us a frontrunner in the area of collecting data on crime and the criminal justice system.

At this time, I’d like to ask the First Lady to add her comments to this announcement and then we’ll open it up to questions.