Poll shows surprising shift in Texan’s views on Prison
Posted on Dec 26, 2013
Texas has long had a reputation as a state that is quick to throw someone in prison and keep them there for as long as possible. A review of the numbers shows that many are incarcerated for non-violent offenses such as drug possession. A new poll conducted by conservative policy groups reports that a substantial majority of Texas favor alternatives to prison for non-violent offenders. Over seventy-five percent support probation and rehabilitative programs for drug offenders, who are not drug dealers. Over 80% believe that a person should be given the opportunity to pay back the victim as opposed to going to prison for property crimes. Over 85% percent believe that the State should have a system that focuses on treating drug and mental health problems.
It would seem a majority of Texans would support a criminal justice system that is more focused on rehabilitation for individuals arrested for drug use related crimes, non-violent offenses and other whose entanglement in the criminal justice system is a result of mental illness. Hopefully this support for alternatives to incarceration can lead to additionally studies and new programs in order to determine what works best. This approach could be in the best interest of the state both socially and economically.