Monday, March 09, 2015

Poll: Public opinion supports criminal justice reform

Excellent news from a new poll of a thousand Texas voters sponsored by the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Among the highlights:

Texans prefer drug treatment over prison by a 61 percent to 26 percent margin. The number bumps up to 73 percent when you limit the question to drug possession cases.

Some 71 percent of Texans believe the justice system should only be involved in extreme cases of chronic truancy, not workaday cases, while just 24 percent of respondents disagreed.

A solid 57 percent of Texans support adjusting property theft thresholds upward to account for inflation, with 37 percent opposed.

A similar number - 57 percent - supported reducing the time inmates spend in prison so they can be monitored on community supervision.

Clearly the public is ahead of their elected officials on these topics, though they have an opportunity to catch up to them over the next few months.


Anonymous said...

Did the survey explain to participants that all first time state jail felony drug offenses are mandatory probation? Did the survey explain how many drug treatment programs are available to probationers? I just love how these types of worthless surveys are conducted either just before or during the legislative session in an effort to effect public policy in this state. Unfortunately, the only groups of people who are less informed regarding the realities of the criminal justice system than legislators are the media and the public.

Anonymous said...

8:55, the public disagrees with you, get over it.

Peter.Marana said...

Texas incarcerates 648/100,000 versus the national average of 447/100,000. That's 50,000 offenders and $1.25 billion of wasted tax dollars, or 25,000 new teachers.

Criminal justice reform is moving forward in Texas, but slowly. When the current bloated prison population starts to decline will be a true test.

Hard liners fail to see the big picture. Harsh prison sentences just create more criminals who cannot find work once released. Not a good combination for anyone.

Anonymous said...

Texas Department of Criminal Justice receives millions in government grants already for drug treatment programs. These programs are for offenders who are granted parole, the programs consist of sending the parolees to AA/NA meeting's once a week. Unfortunately the public is unaware of this type of prison reform at their expense.

Anonymous said...

Agree 9:27 most crimes are done for drugs, need more help for the addiction not more time for the crime most are good people that need a helping hand, prisons don't help it hurts most.

Anonymous said...

History suggest that the ledge could care less which is why it's so important to track their votes and on election day, look for the guy/gal with the "I" as incumbent, and vote for the other guy.

Anonymous said...

Theft is a natural crime and should be punished more severely than administrative moralist crimes like drugs.

A person involved in drugs made poor choices but a thief is a poor excuse for a person.

Carole Jean Powell said...

Understanding that AA/NA programs only work for about 5 percent of its participants makes me wonder what the proposed "drug treatment" would be. Referring a person into programs that are not backed up by evidence of efficacy seems to me a fool's errand. Just saying.

Anonymous said...

That after care parole programs are just fraud on a massive scale!!!! Kick backs and bribes are common among TDCJ and Parole! Biggest money pit you have ever seen. If the tax-payers only knew the waste associated with SAFP and IPTC!!!
If there are so much government grant money going into these programs, why did they bleed me dry of all my savings trying to keep my love one out of prison. THESE PROGRAMS NEED TO BE SHUT DOWN!