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					                                       Texas
                                     Crime
                                         Poll
This booklet contains questions about your thoughts and experiences with crime and the
criminal justice system in TEXAS.

Your cooperation in answering these questions will help in the fight against crime in
TEXAS.

Your responses will be treated anonymously. The booklet is numbered so we can keep
track of the returns without using your name on the booklet.

Thank you for your help!

                              Survey Research Program
                              College of Criminal Justice
                             Sam Houston State University



                                   -SHSU EMBLAM-



Este folleto contiene preguntas acerca de sus pensamientos y experiencias relacionado
con crimen, y el sistema de justicia criminal en TEXAS.

Su cooperación en, respondiendo estas preguntas ayudaría en la pelea del crimen en
TEXAS.

Sus repuestas serán tratadas anónimamente. El folleto esta numerado, entonces
podemos conservar los retornos sin usar su nombre en el folleto.

Tenemos incluido una versión de el informe en Ingles, pero si usted prefiere tener una
copia en español, coloque una “X” en el espacio debajo y retorne este folleto sin
responder las preguntas. Nosotros le mandaremos una copia en español
inmediatamente.

 Por favor mándeme un versión en español de el instrumento de encuesta. (coloque
  el folleto sin responder, en el sobre cerrado con nuestra dirección y el correo pre
  pagado.)

Gracias por su ayuda !


                           Programa de Recurso de Encuesta
                               Colegio de Justicia Criminal
                           Universidad Estado de San Houston
                    INSTRUCTONS FOR THE TEXAS CRIME POLL


Please read and answer each of the questions included in this booklet. Most of the
questions will ask you something like this:

Have you ever used a computer to go “on-line” searching for information about any of the
following?

                                                                             Yes           No
 Information about crime rates.                                                           
 Information about convicted sex offenders.                                               
 Information about how the criminal justice system works.                                 

You should indicate your response by placing a mark in the space marked with a  that
best represents your answer. For example, if you have never gone on-line to search for
information about any of the items, your response would look like this:

                                                                             Yes           No
 Information about crime rates.                                                            
 Information about convicted sex offenders.                                                
 Information about how the criminal justice system works.                                  

Please answer every question. If you want to “explain” your selection for any items please
use the last page of this booklet to do so.

If you have any particular questions or would like to talk to the Director of the Survey
Research Program (Dr. Dennis R. Longmire) he can be reached by telephone at
936.294.1651 or by e-mail at Longmire@shsu.edu

Your cooperation is greatly appreciated and will help in crime prevention and crime
control efforts in the state of Texas. Thanks for your contribution.
 SECTION 1: CRIMINAL JUSTICE EDUCATION AND INFORMATION
            NEEDS

First, we would like to learn a little about your thoughts on criminal justice education,
training, and information needs.

1.1 When you think about the minimum amount of education or training that should be
    required before a person can work in the following criminal justice positions, what do
    you think should be the minimum requirements? (Please select the one response
    that best represents your thoughts about the minimum education levels required for
    each of the following criminal justice workers and mark in the appropriate space
    beside them.)

                                                    Specialized                   Specialized
                                                                  Specialized
                                      Specialized    Training                     Training and
                      Specialized                                  Training
                                        Training       and                          Graduate
                       Training                                      and
                                      and College    Criminal                        Degree
                         Only                                      Graduate
                                        Degree        Justice                      in Criminal
                                                                    Degree
                                                      Degree                         Justice
 Local Police
 Officers                                                                         
 Local Sheriff’s
 Deputies                                                                         
 State level Police
 Officers (D.P.S.                                                                 
 Officers)
 Probation Officers                                                               
 Prison Guards                                                                    
 Parole Officers                                                                  

 1.2 Have you ever used a computer to go “on-line” to search for any of the following?

                                                                                Yes       No
 Information about crime rates.                                                          
 Information about convicted sex offenders.                                              
 Information about how the criminal justice system works.                                
 Information about policing.                                                             
 Information about the court system.                                                     
 Information about the probation or “community supervision” system.                      
 Information about prisons.                                                              
 Information about the parole system.                                                    
 Information about the death penalty.                                                    
 Information about particular laws.                                                      
           Please specify which laws:
SECTION 2: TREATMENT OF ANIMALS AND RELATED ISSUES
Now we would like to learn a little about your thoughts on the treatment of animals and
some other related issues. First, please answer a few questions regarding your personal
experiences.

2.1 Have you witnessed anyone intentionally inflicting pain or suffering on an animal
    over the last five years?

               No
               Yes Did you report this incident to the police, an animal welfare
                        agency, or other authorities?
                             Yes
                             No Why not?        _________________________________

2.2 Do you have a household pet?

               No
               Yes What type of pet?     ____________________________________

2.3 Now, please indicate how strongly you agree or disagree with each of the following
    statements.

                                                                  Neither
                                                  Strongly                          Strongly
                                                           Agree Agree nor Disagree
                                                   Agree                            Disagree
                                                                 Disagree
Police should not waste their time responding
to calls about animal cruelty or animal abuse.                                     
The courts should take cases of animal
cruelty as seriously as they do cases of                                           
violence against humans.
Because pets are an individuals' property, the
law should not intervene on owners' actions                                        
and treatment of their pets.
The abuse of animals is not a social problem
because humans are not the victims.                                                
Humans need animals to survive (for food,
clothing, etc.), therefore killing animals for                                     
these purposes is not wrong.
Humans are a "higher order" species,
therefore it is our right to use animals to                                        
satisfy our needs and desires.
Intentional and malicious torture or killing of
an animal should be a felony.                                                      
Willful neglect (failing to provide adequate
food, water, shelter, etc.) of an animal should                                    
be a felony.
An animal's right to live free of suffering
should be just as important as a person's right                                    
to live free of suffering.
2.4 When you think about each of the following actions, what (if any) punishment do
    you think should be given to people who do the following?
                                                                       Jail (up Prison (More
                                            No
                                                     Fine Probation     to one    than one
                                        Punishment
                                                                         year)      year)

Intentionally running over a cat or
dog with a car.                                                                  
Killing an endangered species for
sport.                                                                           
Failing to provide adequate food
and water for a pet.                                                             
Working a farm animal to the point
of exhaustion.                                                                   
Working a farm animal until they can
no longer stand up.                                                              
Hitting a pet with a stick or other
similar object.                                                                  
 Kicking a pet.                                                                  
 Slapping a pet.                                                                 
 Hitting a pet with a closed fist.                                               
 Locking a pet in a cage for more
 than 10 hours without food or water.                                            
 Tying a pet up outside without food
 and water.                                                                      
 Intentionally causing one animal to
 fight with another                                                              
 Intentionally harming or killing
 another person's pet.                                                           
 Intentionally harming or killing
 another person's livestock.                                                     
 Engaging in sexual activity with an
 animal.                                                                         
2.5 For the following items please indicate (by circling the associated number), on a
    scale from 1 to 10, the degree to which you feel the described activity is acceptable
    (10 indicates completely acceptable; 1 indicates completely unacceptable).

                                                Completely                        Completely
                                                Unacceptable                      Acceptable
Painful experiments on animals that produce
                                                1    2   3     4   5    6    7   8   9   10
information about human health problems.
Painless experiments on animals that
produce information about human health          1    2   3     4   5    6    7   8   9   10
problems.
Painful experiments on animals that produce
                                                1    2   3     4   5    6    7   8   9   10
information about commercial products.
Painless experimentation on animals that
produces information about commercial           1    2   3     4   5    6    7   8   9   10
products.
2.5 (Continued) For the following items please indicate (by circling the associated
    number), on a scale from 1 to 10, the degree to which you feel the described activity
    is acceptable (10 indicates completely acceptable; 1 indicates completely
    unacceptable).
                                            Completely                              Completely
                                           Unacceptable                             Acceptable
Experiments conducted on rats.                  1   2       3   4   5   6   7   8    9   10
Experiments conducted on dogs or cats.          1   2       3   4   5   6   7   8    9   10
Experiments conducted on monkeys.               1   2       3   4   5   6   7   8    9   10
Painful slaughter of animals for food.          1   2       3   4   5   6   7   8    9   10
Painless slaughter of animals for food.         1   2       3   4   5   6   7   8    9   10
The use of animals for human
                                                1   2       3   4   5   6   7   8    9   10
entertainment (e.g. circus, zoo, rodeo).

2.6 The following are proposed reasons that cruelty to animals should be taken more
    seriously as a crime. Which do you think is the single best reason to favor tougher
    animal abuse laws? (Select only one.)
               Most serial killers first abused animals.
               Cruel treatment of animals may be a sign of violence within a home,
                 including child, spouse, or elder abuse.
               Defenseless animals should not be subject to extreme cruelty at the
                 hands of humans.
               Children who abuse animals are likely to be involved in all types of
                 malicious or violent crimes.
               Animal cruelty should not be taken seriously as a crime for any reason.
               None of the above reasons are convincing.
2.7 Now, please indicate how strongly you agree or disagree with each of the following
    statements.
                                                                    Neither
                                                    Strongly                          Strongly
                                                             Agree Agree nor Disagree
                                                     Agree                            Disagree
                                                                   Disagree
There are times when it is acceptable for
partners in a romantic relationship to hit each                                           
other during an argument.
Women who are raped are often just as much
to blame as the men who raped them.                                                       
Men who are violent towards their partners
may, nonetheless, be very good fathers.                                                   
Witnessing violence between parents has few
long-term effects on children.                                                            
It is never acceptable for a teacher to hit a
student – with a paddle or otherwise – even for                                           
disciplinary purposes.
Because children are so poorly behaved these
days, parents need to use more physical                                                   
punishment to control their behavior.
2.7 (Continued) Please indicate how strongly you agree or disagree with each of the
     following statements.
                                                                     Neither
                                                     Strongly                          Strongly
                                                              Agree Agree nor Disagree
                                                      Agree                            Disagree
                                                                    Disagree
It is acceptable in certain circumstances for
parents to hit or slap their children when the                                       
child has misbehaved.
When gay couples publicly display their
affection for each other, they are just asking for                                   
trouble.
Groups like the KKK and Neo-nazis should not
be allowed to terrorize minority groups.                                             
The ownership and possession of both
handguns and automatic weapons should be
more strictly monitored and regulated by the                                         
government.
There is no real reason why the average
citizen should own a handgun or assault rifle.                                       
People should be able to use whatever means
(e.g., guns) necessary to defend their property.
                                                                                     
The best way to train an animal is through
physical force.                                                                      
There is too much violence on TV.                                                    
Pornography shouldn’t be a source of concern
because it’s not hurting anybody involved.
                                                                                     
A criminal should be subjected to whatever act
he/she committed (e.g., a rapist should be
raped, a murderer should be murdered). After                                         
all, it’s just “an eye for an eye.”
Violence between inmates should not be a
concern of prison administration because                                             
they’re only hurting themselves.
Sometimes the bombing of an international
enemy is justified, even if civilians in that                                        
country are killed.
Justice may have been harsh in the Old West,
but things worked better then than they do                                           
today.
Hazing and initiation rites by fraternities or
sports teams are usually “all in good fun.”
                                                                                     
Watching people physically fight is often
exciting.                                                                            
Backing down from a fight is cowardly and
dishonorable.                                                                        
Sometimes physical violence is acceptable just
to make a point.                                                                     
SECTION 3: ISSUES RELATED TO EVIDENCE USED IN PROSECUTION
            AND SENTENCING OF CRIMINAL OFFENDERS

Next we are interested in what you think about the quality of different kinds of
information used during the processing of criminal cases. Please read each of the
following and indicate which response comes closest to matching your own thoughts
about each of the following items.

3.1 If you were serving as a juror on a criminal case, how much confidence do you think
      you would you have in the accuracy of testimony presented by each of the
      following “expert witnesses?”


                                                      A lot of    Some       Little      No
                                                     Confidence Confidence Confidence Confidence
Witness’s Area of Specialization:
 • DNA experts                                                                        
 • forensic pathologists                                                              
 • forensic ballistics experts                                                        
 • forensic “crime scene” re-creation experts                                         
 • criminal profilers                                                                 
 • psychiatric testimony regarding sanity/insanity                                    
 • psychiatric testimony regarding competency                                         
 • psychiatric and psychological testimony                                            
  regarding future dangerousness


3.2 Do you think there should be a specialized certification program required for the
     following areas of criminal justice specialization?

                                                                               Yes       No
     • DNA experts                                                                       
     • forensic pathologists                                                             
     • forensic ballistics experts                                                       
     • forensic “crime scene” re-creation experts                                        
     • criminal profilers                                                                
     • psychiatric experts focusing on sanity/insanity                                   
     • psychiatric experts focusing on competency                                        
     • psychiatric and psychological experts focusing on future
        dangerousness                                                                    
3.3 If you were a juror on a capital murder trial, would your attitudes about the death
      penalty influence any of the following:

         a.) Your willingness to consider voting for the death penalty?
                 Yes
                 No

         b.) Your ability to be fair and impartial in deciding the question of guilt?
                 Yes
                 No

         c.) You would __________ vote to impose the death penalty for guilty capital
             defendants?

                 Always
                 Never
                 It depends.

3.4 Should people who are mentally disordered be more likely or less likely to receive a
     death sentence if convicted of capital murder?

              More likely
              Less likely
              It shouldn’t matter.
3.5 Should people who are diagnosed as psychopaths (generally characterized as
     remorseless, manipulative, self-centered, etc.) be more or less likely to receive a
     death penalty if convicted of capital murder?

              More likely
              Less likely
              It shouldn’t matter.

3.6 Imagine that you are a juror deciding on the penalty in a capital murder case, and
     you hear testimony that an offender is a psychopath. Would this testimony
     influence your decision about the penalty?

              No
              Yes Would this testimony make you more or less likely to give a death
                          sentence?
                             More likely
                             Less likely
3.7 Again, assuming the role of a capital juror, you hear testimony that an offender is a
     psychopath. However, the defense attorney also calls an expert to testify that
     psychopaths are not necessarily more violent than other inmates. Would this
     testimony influence your decision about the penalty?

              No
              Yes  Would this testimony make you more or less likely to give a death
                         sentence?
                            More
                            Less
3.8 How would you describe the safety of today's public schools?

        much less safe than 10 yrs ago
        less safe than 10 yrs ago
        about the same as 10 yrs ago
        safer than 10 yrs ago
        much safer than 10 yrs ago
3.9 How knowledgeable or aware do you think public school children are about what to
     do when they hear about potential violence at school?

        not at all knowledgeable/aware
        somewhat knowledgeable/aware
        highly knowledgeable/aware
3.10 What consequences would you advocate for students who threaten violence in
     public schools?

        automatic expulsion
        out of school suspension
        detention/in school suspension
        psychological consultation only
        nothing
SECTION 4: SPECIAL ISSUES RELATED TO CRIME AND CRIMINAL
            JUSTICE

This is the final section of the survey and it includes questions designed to gain
information about your experiences and thoughts about several issues that are currently
of interest to criminal justice professionals. Please read each of the following statements
and select the response that best represents your experiences and/or thoughts.

DWI Experiences and/or Support for Changes in Sanctions

4.1 Do you have any personal or general knowledge of any of the following scenarios?

                                                                               Yes        No
I personally know someone in my town/city who was injured by a
drunk driver.                                                                            
One of my family members has been arrested for drunk driving.                            
I personally know someone in my town/city who was killed by a
drunk driver.                                                                            
I have a close friend who was injured by a drunk driver.                                 
I have a close friend who was killed by a drunk driver.                                  
A family member was injured by a drunk driver.                                           
A family member was killed by a drunk driver.                                            
I have been physically injured by a drunk driver.                                        
4.2 The following is a list of policies concerning the subject of alcohol abuse that
     potentially could be developed. Please tell us how strongly you either favor or
     oppose each one.
                                              Strongly   Somewhat   Somewhat   Strongly   Don’t
                                               Favor       Favor     Oppose    Oppose     Know
A tax increase of five cents per drink
on beer, wine and liquor to pay for
programs that prevent minors from                                                      
drinking?
A tax increase of five cents per drink on
beer, wine and liquor to pay for alcohol                                               
treatment programs?
A tax increase of five cents per drink on
beer, wine and liquor to pay for alcohol                                               
rehabilitation programs?
A law forbidding the sale of all beer, wine
and liquor throughout the nation?                                                      
A law that punished teenagers who
tested positive for any amount of alcohol                                              
in their blood?
A law that penalizes adults who illegally
give alcohol to teenagers?                                                             
What if funds raised by increasing alcohol
taxes were used for many government
purpose, not just prevention programs or
alcohol treatment programs? How                                                        
strongly would you favor or oppose
raising the tax?
4.3 How strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

                                                           Neither
                                       Strongly                                      Strongly
                                                  Agree   Agree nor    Disagree
                                        Agree                                        Disagree
                                                          Disagree
Stiffer punishments for teenagers
who are caught drinking will
discourage them from getting                                                       
alcohol.
Many kids who start using alcohol
do so because of peer pressure
and in the belief that it’s cool and                                               
the grownup thing to do.
I think the government should
take steps to reduce teenage                                                       
drinking.

Police Use of Force
4.4 Do you have any personal or general knowledge of any of the following scenarios?

                                                                               Yes      No
I personally know someone who has been hit or beaten by a law
enforcement officer in the last year.                                                   
I personally know someone who has been hit or beaten by a law
enforcement officer in the last year without probable cause and the                     
officer received no form of reprimand.
I have been hit or beaten by a law enforcement officer in the last year.                
I have been hit or beaten by a law enforcement officer in the last year
without probable cause and the officer received no form of reprimand.                   
I personally know someone who has been sprayed with pepper spray
by a law enforcement officer in the last year.                                          
I personally know someone who has been sprayed with pepper spray
by a law enforcement officer in the last year without probable cause                    
and the officer received no form of reprimand.
I have personally been sprayed with pepper spray by a law
enforcement officer in the past year.                                                   
I have personally been sprayed with pepper spray by a law
enforcement officer in the past year without probable cause and the                     
officer received no form of reprimand.
I personally know someone who has been shot by a Law Enforcement
Officer in the past year.                                                               
I personally know someone who has been shot by a Law Enforcement
Officer in the past year without probable cause and the officer received                
no form of reprimand.
A Law Enforcement Officer has personally shot me in the past year.                      
A Law Enforcement Officer has personally shot me in the past year
without probable cause and the officer received no form of reprimand.                   
I personally know someone who was killed by a law enforcement
officer in the last year.                                                               
4.4 (Continued) Do you have any personal or general knowledge of any of the following
     scenarios?
                                                                               Yes      No
I personally know someone who was killed by a law enforcement
officer in the last year without probable cause and the officer received                
no form of reprimand.
I personally know someone who has been threatened with physical
force by a law enforcement officer in the last year.                                    
I personally know someone who has been threatened with physical
force by a law enforcement officer in the last year without probable                    
cause and the officer received no form of reprimand.
A law enforcement officer has personally threatened me with physical
force in the past year.                                                                 
A law enforcement officer has personally threatened me with physical
force in the past year without probable cause and the officer received                  
no form of reprimand.
The use of a nightstick on a nonviolent protestor is more violent than
the use of pepper spray.                                                                
The use of pepper spray on a nonviolent protestor is more violent than
using bodily force (restraining an individual by hand)                                  

Racial Profiling

4.5 Please indicate the degree to which you agree or disagree with each of the following.

                                                            Neither
                                       Strongly             Agree                    Strongly
                                                                      Disagree
                                        Agree     Agree       nor                    Disagree
                                                           Disagree
Law Enforcement Officers target
specific racial, ethnic and                                                        
socioeconomic groups.
Black people commit more crimes
than White and Hispanic people.                                                    
White people commit more crimes
than Black and Hispanic people.                                                    
Hispanic people commit more
crimes than Black and White                                                        
people
Poor people commit more crimes
than middle and upper class                                                        
people.
Middle and upper class people
commit more crimes than the lower                                                  
(poor) class.
If a single law enforcement officer
is found to be targeting a specific
race, ethnicity or socioeconomic                                                   
class disproportionately more than
others they should be fired.
4.5 (Continued) Please indicate the degree to which you agree or disagree with each of
the following.

                                                           Neither
                                       Strongly            Agree                Strongly
                                                                     Disagree
                                        Agree     Agree      nor                Disagree
                                                          Disagree
If a single law enforcement officer
is found to be targeting a specific
race, ethnicity or socioeconomic
class disproportionately more than                                            
others they should be punished but
not fired.
If a single law enforcement officer
is found to be targeting a specific
race, ethnicity or socioeconomic
class disproportionately more than                                            
others nothing should be done to
them.
If several (2 or more) law
enforcement officers from the same
department are found to be
targeting a specific race, ethnicity
or socioeconomic class                                                        
disproportionately more than others
the chief should be fired and the
department placed under
investigation.
If several (2 or more) law
enforcement officers from the same
department are found to be
targeting a specific race, ethnicity
or socioeconomic class                                                        
disproportionately more than others
the chief and the department
should be placed under
investigation.
Focusing law enforcement efforts
on specific racial, ethnic or                                                 
socioeconomic classes is needed.
Focusing law enforcement efforts
on specific racial, ethnic or                                                 
socioeconomic classes is wrong.
The Death Penalty

4.6 How much confidence do you
   have that death penalty system   A lot of           Some          Little      No
   in Texas:                       Confidence        Confidence    Confidence Confidence
   protects innocent people from
   being executed                                                               
   is being imposed fairly on poor
   people                                                                       
   is imposed fairly on members of
   minority groups;                                                             

4.7 How confident are you that
    people charged with capital
    murder in Texas receive                                                     
    competent legal representation
    during their trial?
4.8 How confident are you that
    people convicted of capital
    crimes in Texas have                                                        
    acceptable levels of access to
    the appeal process?

4.9 Do you think there should be a “moratorium”’ on Texas's executions
     (a period of time during which there are no people executed in
     Texas) until the system can be studied to make sure the system:         Yes   No
        protects innocent people from being executed?                                 
        is being imposed fairly on poor people?                                       
        is imposed fairly on members of minority groups?                              
        insures that people charged with capital crimes get competent
        legal representation during their trials?                                     
        insures that people convicted of capital crimes have acceptable
        levels of access to the appeal process?                                       
4.10 Do you think Texas should enact a law specifically prohibiting the
     execution of mentally retarded offenders?                                        

4.11 Do you support the death penalty for the crime of murder?                        
4.12 Would you support a law establishing a “true life sentence without
     the possibility for parole” as an option in addition to retaining the            
     death penalty?
4.13 Would you support a law establishing a “true life sentence without
     the possibility for parole” that would replace the death penalty?                
SECTION 5: DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION
Finally, we would like to ask some questions about you?


5.1 What was your age at your last birthday? ____________ (record exact number)


5.2 Which of the following best describes your racial or ethnic group?
          White
          Black
          Hispanic
          Bi-racial
          Multi-racial
          Other
          Don't know
5.3 What was the last grade of school you completed?
          Grade 0 - 4
          Grade 5 - 8
          Grade 9 - 11, some high school
          Grade 12, high school graduate
          Some college, business or trade school work
          College graduate
          Graduate work
          Don't know
5.4 On average, how would you consider your computer usage?
          None (SKIP TO 5.5)
          Low
          Moderate
          Frequent
          Don't know
         5.4.1 During a typical week, how many hours do you spend using the internet
                or the "World Wide Web?"
               (record exact number)        ____________

5.5 From which one source do you get most of your news about crime?
          Television
          Newspapers
          Co-workers
          Friends
          Neighbors
          Other (Please specify: _______________________)
          Don't know
5.6 What political party most closely represents your feelings?
          Republican
          Democrat
          Independent
          Other (Please specify:    _______________________)
          Don't know
5.7 Which of the following most closely reflects the size of your community?
          Rural
          Small town
          Small city
          Suburb
          Urban
          Don't know
5.9 What is your religious preference?
          Protestant
          Catholic
          Jewish
          Other (Please specify:    _______________________)
          Don't know
5.10 Please indicate your annual household income by selecting the most appropriate
     choice below:
          Less than $15,000
          Between $15, 000 and $30,000
          Between $30,000 and $60,000
          Over $60,000
          Don't know
5.11 Are you a male or a female?
          Male
          Female
5.12 Finally, in the fall we will be conducting a special “Legislative Issues Survey”
     designed to help identify criminal justice related issues that are of special interest
     to Texans and would like to include you in that survey. Is it alright with you for us
     to send you another survey instrument in the fall?
          Yes
          No
That completes the survey. Returning this survey indicates informed
consent on part of the respondent. Please return it right away by
placing it in the enclosed self addressed, envelope. POSTAGE HAS
BEEN PRE-PAID.

Again, your participation is very important and greatly appreciated.
We thank you for your cooperation.

				
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