CPI Survey Methods

The Center for Prosecutor Integrity commissioned a national telephone survey of American households. Conducted by Political Research of Centreville, VA, the surveys utilized a computer-activated interactive telephone technology with a pre-recorded human voice. The technology requires all questions be phrased so they can be answered with a ‘Yes’ or ’No’ answer.

Calls were placed to 9,876 landline telephones during the period June 3-5, 2013. An average of 993 persons responded to each question. Click Here to see the detailed survey findings.

Sampling Frame

The sampling frame draws from voter registration records in 47 states and the District of Columbia. Voter-registration records are a relatively low-cost means to identify a broad community sample. However, voter records are not considered to be representative of the national population. Non-response biases may further affect the generalizability of the findings.


The survey consisted of a relatively small number of questions in order to maximize the response rate. On average, surveys took less than one minute to complete. All questions could be answered with a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ response.

Following are the survey questions:

This is political research calling with a short survey about problems in our nation’s criminal justice system.

  1. Are you currently registered to vote?
  2. Have you ever heard of a person being convicted of a crime he did not commit? In other words, even though he was actually innocent, he was somehow found guilty of the crime?
  3. In many of these cases, the prosecutor did something wrong like bribing a witness, hiding evidence, or forcing an innocent person to confess. This is what people call prosecutor misconduct. Have you ever heard of a case of a prosecutor who committed prosecutor misconduct?
  4. Do you believe most cases of prosecutor misconduct are kept hidden from the public?
  5. Do you believe that prosecutors who commit misconduct are almost never punished?
  6. Do you believe prosecutor misconduct is widespread in our country?
  7. Do you think lawmakers should pass new laws to stop prosecutor misconduct?
  8. Do you believe the presumption of innocence is being lost in our nation’s legal system?
  9. Do you believe our nation’s legal system often does not follow the rule of ‘equal treatment under the law’?
  10. If you had to label your political beliefs as either republican, democrat or independent , would you say you are a republican?
  11. Would you say you are a democrat?
  12. Are you male?
  13. Are you 50 years of age or older?

Response Rates

To maximize response rates, up to three calls were placed to each number. Of the calls placed to the 9,876 lines:

  • Percentage of calls that resulted in a “live” response (respondent remained on the line for at least 10 seconds): 37.8%
  • Percentage of live respondents who answered at least one question: 48.3%
  • Percentage of live respondents who completed the entire survey: 19.1%

These percentages are consistent with response rates for other similar automated telephone surveys.


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