New Poll Shows Support for Prison Reform Is Growing

A new survey by the MacArthur Foundation found that an overwhelming number of Americans believe local justice systems should emphasize rehabilitation over punishment.

  • Sixty percent of the people who took the survey said rehabilitation or treatment should be the most important consideration when judges sentence someone convicted of a nonviolent crime.
  • More than one in three people said rehabilitation and treatment should be the main role of jails.
  • More than 80 percent of respondents said local government should be putting more money and resources toward substance abuse treatment to help combat the opioid crisis.

Support for prison reform is growing because Americans know it works. Around the country, reforms have helped combat the cycle of re-incarceration that many former inmates become trapped in.

South Carolina reformed its justice system in 2010. In the five years afterward, crime rates fell, prison populations decreased and the number of former inmates who successfully completed their parole increased.

Safe Streets & Second Chances is committed to finding evidence-driven approaches that break the cycle of recidivism and help former inmates successfully return to society.

You can learn more about what we do and why we do it here.