Report: Crime Victims Favor Rehabilitation Over Longer Prison Sentences

The next time you hear a politician brag about being “tough on crime,” remind them of this survey, which finds a majority of victims of violent crime favor rehabilitation to longer prison sentences. The results of the survey, conducted by the Alliance for Safety and Justice, were reported in the Washington Post.

“Perhaps to the surprise of some, the National Survey on Victims’ Views found that the overwhelming majority of crime victims believe that the criminal justice system relies too heavily on incarceration, and strongly prefer investments in treatment and prevention to more spending on prisons and jails,” according to the report.
By two-to-one, victims said the criminal justice system should focus more on rehabilitating people who commit crimes, as opposed to punishing them. By similar margins, the victims preferred shorter prison sentences over keeping criminals incarcerated “as long as possible.”
According to the Post, more than half the respondents said prison increased the likelihood someone would commit another crime, and less than 20 percent said prison helped to rehabilitate a person.
You can read the full report here.

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