A sample of 244 students in Beaufort County, N.C., which was representative of the overall county student population regarding gender and race, completed a survey that solicited their perceptions of government, community life, student relations, crime, and law enforcement.
Overall, 43 percent of the youth reported they did not trust the people who run their local government, compared to 36 percent who did trust their local government. Generally, the youth did not have a favorable perception of the criminal justice system. Almost 8 out of 10 students reported that they plan to leave Beaufort County after they complete high school. Fifty-three percent of the youth reported that adults value what youth think, and 37 percent of the youth reported that there was nothing in their community to promote an understanding among ethnic groups. thirty-eight percent of the youth reported that the most serious crime problem in their neighborhood was drugs, followed by 12 percent who reported that theft was the most serious crime problem. Overall, weapons at school was regarded as a moderately serious problem, and 55 percent indicated they would report a crime they witnessed at school. Eighty-one percent of the youth reported that police treat youth and adults differently, with 40 percent indicating that youth are treated worse than adults, and 19 percent reporting that youth are treated better; 48 percent of the youth reported that they trust the police, and 34 percent mistrust the police. Forty-five percent of the youth reported that they would participate in a law enforcement job training program at school, and 55 percent reported they would not. 11 figures and appended supplementary information and data
Date Published: January 1, 1999
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