What Do Christians in America Really Think About Criminal Justice Reform?
Date:  11-12-2018

Prison Fellowship's survey reveals practicing Christians are more concerned about the care and conditions of people in prison than the general public, but prefer stronger punishments
From Prison Fellowship:

Prison Fellowship® commissioned polling through Barna to gauge Christians’ attitudes toward criminal justice reform.

Most of the survey questions and responses were released in 2017, but today we are revealing more of our key findings. The newly updated survey report includes more questions and responses, and a detailed breakdown of responses by practicing Christian sub-groups (Catholics, mainline, non-mainline, and evangelicals).

Here are some highlights of the newly released information:

  • Most Americans believe making amends for one’s crimes should be a part of the justice system. Practicing Christians feel somewhat more strongly, while evangelicals and Catholics are most likely to strongly agree (51 and 48 percent, respectively).

  • More than three-fourths (77 percent) of practicing Christians agree or strongly agree that their values compel them to take a stand and advocate for criminal justice reform.

  • About half of Americans strongly agree that people who have completed their just punishment should have the opportunity to be productive members of the community, showing that most Americans favor the general idea of second chances. Men are most convinced of this, as are evangelical Christians (61 percent strongly agree).

  • However, Americans showed less support applying the general idea of second chances to specific policy implications. Only about one-quarter of Americans and one-third of practicing Christians strongly agreed that restrictions should not be placed on people with criminal records.

    Read the full survey here.