National Survey Finds American Voters Support Sentencing and Correctional Reforms
Date:  10-21-2013

Voters who were surveyed feel sentences for non-violent offenders are too harsh
The Public Safety Performance Project of the Pew Center for Justice paired with two of the top polling firms in the country to learn what American voters think about sentencing and corrections issues. The Mellman Group and Public Opinion Strategies conducted a national survey among 1,200 voters and also conducted state surveys in Georgia, Oregon and Missouri.

Highlights of the survey include:

  • American voters believe too many people are in prison and the nation spends too much on imprisonment.

  • Voters overwhelmingly support a variety of policy changes that shift non-violent offenders from prison to more effective, less expensive alternatives.

  • Support for sentencing and corrections reforms (including reduced prison terms) is strong across political parties, regions, age, gender, and racial/ethnic groups.
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