Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Criminal Justice Review 2022

DOI: 10.1177/07340168221131379


© 2022 Georgia State University

Open Access PMCID: PMC9551665


Prior scholarship links ontological insecurities, racial tensions, and health issues to public opinion about crime. This project examined these forces in the context of the 2020 pandemic, racial justice demonstrations, and politics using data from the Nebraska 2020 survey (N=2775). Pandemicrelated insecurities and racial animus were associated with avoiding places in the community, worry about crime, and the belief that police in one’s community are underfunded. Trusting politicians but distrusting health leaders, and viewing COVID as an economic threat but not a health threat were associated with the belief police are underfunded. Results suggest that the politicization of the pandemic may influence support for criminal justice policies that promise a return to “law and order.”