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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Julie L. Jones

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

Demographics of Sample Respondents Versus State Population: Who Was Contacted?

General Public Survey:  Various demographic characteristics of the sample are presented along with the same characteristics of the state population as a whole to provide a profile of the sample and to determine if the sample is similar to Floridians in general. Of the 1,002 respondents, those listed as "Cases Not Applicable" either did not complete the survey or responded "Don't know" or "Not applicable" to the question. The responses are weighted and rounded to the nearest whole number to correct for oversampling.

News Media Survey:  Some demographics for the news media representatives were also collected, including race, sex, education, years of experience and counties covered. Of the 366 respondents, those listed as "Cases Not Applicable" either did not complete the survey or responded "Don't know" or "Not applicable" to the question. The responses were not weighted.

DC Staff Survey:  Demographics for DC staff collected include education level, race/ethnicity, years of work experience, title, location and whether their position is security or non-security. Additional questions were also posed regarding staff's opinions on their training, career goals, and job satisfaction.


General Public Survey:  The sample was very similar to Florida's population in terms of the percentage that were male (sample = 45.3%, state = 48.6%) and female (sample = 54.7%, state = 51.4%). Florida's population statistics were provided by the University of Florida's Bureau of Economic and Demographic Research (BEBR).

News Media Survey:  There were slightly more men (57.4%) than women (42.6%) in the news media sample.

DC Staff Survey:  There were slightly more men (56.9%) than women (43.1%) in the staff sample.

Gender of Respondents
Gender General Public Florida News Media DC Staff
Number Percent Percent Number Percent Number Percent
Male44945.3%48.5%20657.4% 33656.9%
Female54154.7%51.5%15342.6% 35443.1%
Total990100.00%100.00%359100.00% 690100.0%

Cases Not Applicable* = 12 / 7 / 9

*Include those who did not complete the survey, and those who answered "don't know" or "not applicable." These cases were not used in calculating valid percentages. The first numbers listed are cases not applicable from the general public survey; the second number is for the news media survey, and the third is for the DC staff survey.


General Public Survey:  The average age of the general public respondents was 48 years; they ranged from 18 to 94 years old. The percentage of the sample in six age groups was similar to the age distribution for the entire state population.

News Media Survey:  The average age of news media respondents was 40; they ranged from age 18 to 79.

DC Staff Survey:  The average age of DC respondents was 40; they ranged from age 19 to 71.

Age Groups of Respondents
Age General Public Florida News Media DC Staff
Number Percent Percent Number Percent Number Percent
55-6413013.5%9.2%3410.10% 7310.7%
65 +22723.5%18.7%72.00% 50.7%
Average:48 Years 40 years 40 Years
Total966100.0%77.4%*337100.0% 680100.0%
Cases Not Applicable = 36/29/19

* The remaining 22.6% are under age 18.


General Public Survey: Whites make up 83.9% of the respondents surveyed, while blacks represent 9.6%. The sample is proportional across racial lines almost identically to the state population: whites (sample = 83.9%, state = 83.0%) and non-whites (sample = 16.1%, state = 17.0%).

News Media Survey:  Whites also made up the majority of news media representatives (83.2%), with blacks representing 8.4%. In addition, news outlets that serve minority audiences were included, and bilingual survey staff were available and utilized when necessary.

DC Staff Survey:  Most of the DC staff respondents are white (74.9%), with blacks representing 18.1%.

Race of Respondents
Race General Public News Media DC Staff
Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
White 813 83.9% 298 83.2% 516 74.9%
Black 93 9.6% 30 8.4% 125 18.1%
Oriental 4 0.4% 3 0.8% 7 1.0%
Native American 4 0.3% 0 0.0% 7 1.0%
Other Race 48 4.9% 1 0.3% 3 0.4%
Multi/Mixed* 7 0.8% 26* 7.2% 31* 4.5%
Total Cases 996 100.0% 358 100.0% 689 100.0%

Cases Not Applicable = 33/8/10

* Includes 22 Hispanic in news media survey and 29 Hispanics in DC staff survey.


General Public Survey:  The most frequent category of education reported by the respondents was "Some College" (34.7%) followed by "High School Graduates" (25.6%).

News Media Survey:  Most of the news media respondents are college graduates (52.9%) and another 18.6% attended graduate school.

DC Staff Survey:  Most DC staff have some college (38.0%), with an additional 18.2% college graduates and 14.9% who attended graduate school.

Education Level of Respondents
Education General Public News Media DC Staff
Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
Less Than 9th Grade394.0%00.0% 00.0%
Some High School505.1%00.0% 50.7%
High School Grad25125.6%267.1% 19628.2%
Some College34034.7%7821.4% 26538.0%
College Graduate18118.5%19352.9% 12718.2%
Graduate School11912.2%6818.6% 10414.9%
Total Cases980100.0%364100.0% 697100.0%

Cases Not Applicable = 22/1/2


General Public Survey:  Income, Employment, and Residence. The most frequently reported salary range was $20,000 to $30,000 (16.9%) or $30,000 to $40,000 (16.5%). Only 5.0% of the sample said they worked in criminal justice, law enforcement, corrections, or the media. The southeastern portion of the state represented 31.0% of the sample (after weighting), while 17.0% resided in the Tampa area; 9.0% in the Orlando area; and 43.0% resided in "Non-Metropolitan Statistical Areas."

News Media Survey:  Type of Reporter, Experience, Location, Circulation. Interviewers asked for (in this order) the corrections or courthouse reporter, a general reporter or the news director. Those surveyed identified themselves in this order: corrections/courthouse reporters (64.9%), news directors (19.9%) and general reporters (15.2%).
       Their years of experience in the journalism/media field ranged from one year to 50, with an average of 13.5 years. Respondents from a total of 174 cities completed the survey. The five cities with the most respondents are Tallahassee (20), Miami (19), Tampa (17), Orlando (13) and Jacksonville (9). The top 10 counties that reporters said they primarily reported on in order of frequency are Orange (25), Dade (23), Hillsborough (21), Palm Beach (19), Lee (17) Broward (16), Okaloosa (13), Polk (13), Pinellas (12), Leon (12), and Volusia (12) (tied). For more details on cities and counties see the appendix. Circulation for the daily newspapers ranged from 2,500 to 351,977; weekly newspapers ranged from 900 to 433,700 and radio station signals ranged from 350 to 100,000. News services and television stations were not asked to report in this category.

DC Staff Survey:  A sample of 699 of the DC's 27,000+ employees was contacted, including 398 non- security staff and 301 security staff. Security staff includes correctional officers, correctional officer captains, colonels, inspectors, inspector supervisors, lieutenants, majors, senior inspectors and sergeants. Security staff also includes correctional probation officers, correctional probation administrators, senior officers, senior supervisors, specialists and supervisors. The distribution by region is Central Office (Tallahassee) - 28 respondents, Region I - 166, Region II - 195, Region III -91, Region IV - 105, and Region V - 113, and one missing.
       Correction officer security staff was not asked ten questions that related directly to their jobs, such as "Do you carry a gun inside the institution?" because they would obviously answer it correctly. Correctional probation officer security staff was not asked three questions concerning their own jobs for the same reason. In each case, substitute questions were used to gain insight into security staff opinions on their training, image and job satisfaction. Results of those questions will be available in a separate report.

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