In a recent telephone survey of of 1,000 likely U.S. voters 44 percent say they believe there are too many Americans in prison today. Thirty-one percent disagree, while 24% are not sure.
Forty-two percent of voters agree with the use of mandatory minimum prison sentences for certain crimes, but 46 percent now disagree with those sentences. Twelve percent are undecided. That’s higher opposition for mandatory minimum sentences than adults expressed last year.
Ten states currently set the age at which someone can be tried as an adult in criminal court at younger than 18. A major piece of the senators’ proposed legislation is giving states that raise the minimum age to 18 special preference when applying for federal community police funding. Just 36 percent of voters favor requiring all states to raise the minimum age at which someone can be tried as an adult to 18. Forty-nine percent oppose requiring states to do so. Another 16 percent are not sure.
But 69 percent of voters agree with the senators that someone who is convicted of a non-violent felony and serves his or her sentence without problem should have his or her voting rights restored. Just 20 percent disagree, while 11 percent are not sure.