AFSC Poll: Arizona Voters Approve Incarceration Alternatives, Disaprove of Corrections Spending

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Those folks at the American Friends Service Committee released results from a poll the organization commissioned, and according to a press release sent out today "voters in Arizona believe criminal justice policies should be cost effective, and they are open to alternative approaches as a means of reducing the state budget. They also in large part believe that publicly-operated prisons do a better job than private ones."

From the press release:

A pioneering survey has revealed strong support for significant change in Arizona's criminal justice funding and incarceration policies. The data indicate that, while public safety is a very important issue, voters in Arizona believe criminal justice policies should be cost effective, and they are open to alternative approaches as a means of reducing the state budget. They also in large part believe that publicly-operated prisons do a better job than private ones.
The American Friends Service Committee's (AFSC) Arizona office commissioned Flagstaff research firm, GlobaLocal Visions, LLC, to conduct a 600-person telephone survey of likely voters across the state, including 400 from Maricopa County, with a 95% confidence level. Respondents identified as 43% Republican, 36% Democrat, and 21% Independent.

There will be a press conference on Thursday, May 9 on the Capitol Law in Phoenix at 10 a.m. Fred Solop, the principal researcher, will present the survey findings, which include:

When told that Arizona spends $1 billion of its $8.5 billion general fund on prisons, half of Arizona voters (52%) and just under half of Maricopa County voters (48%) say this is too much.

Seventy percent of Arizona voters and Maricopa County voters support reducing prison time for low-risk, non-violent offenders as a budget saving strategy.

A majority of Arizona voters (52%) oppose private corporations running prisons in Arizona.

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