Overwhelming Majority of Americans Support Criminal Justice Reform, New Poll Finds

Jan 25, 2018

A new poll released today reveals that three-fourths of Americans believe the country’s criminal justice system needs significant improvements.

Conducted by Public Opinion Strategies on behalf of Justice Action Network, the poll also indicates that support for reform spans all sides of the political spectrum—with 68 percent of Republicans, 78 percent of Independents, and 80 percent of Democrats supporting reform. 

An overwhelming number—87 percent—disapprove of mandatory minimums, and instead express support for alternatives to incarceration, such as electronic monitoring, community service, and probation.

Perhaps most notably, the poll found that 85 percent of Americans agree the main goal of our criminal justice system should be rehabilitation, not punishment. And, 90 percent believe that barriers to employment, school, and other opportunities should be removed for formerly incarcerated people. 

This breakthrough data indicates that Americans continue to reject calls for tough on crime policies—and that state and local momentum for reform remains strong. 

Read the full polling results