September 26, 2018

ATLANTA – The ACLU of Georgia releases the results of a statewide survey regarding the voter preferences concerning candidate positions on criminal justice reform. When given a choice between two candidates with starkly different views on criminal justice reform, 82% of likely Georgia voters would choose a “smart justice” candidate who believes that our criminal justice system can be made fairer, safer, and cheaper through ending mass incarceration and reducing racial disparities.

“Large majorities of voters are more likely to support a candidate who broadly supports criminal justice reform,” stated Andrea Young, Executive Director of the ACLU of Georgia, “and who backs that up with strong stances on reducing racial in disparities in the criminal justice system, ending the war on drugs, ending police abuse, and reducing incarceration." 

Below are the poll results findings. 
 
1. Large majorities of voters are more likely to support a candidate who broadly supports criminal justice reform and who backs that up with strong stances on reducing racial disparities in the criminal justice system, ending the war on drugs, police reform, and reducing incarceration. 
 
2. Candidates supporting criminal justice reform receive very high support from growing voter blocks (such as millennials), key groups for successful campaigns (African American women), and strong support from segments of voters that conventional political wisdom would say opposes criminal justice reform.
 
3. A majority of voters choose a reform-focused, or “smart justice”, candidate over a traditional candidate. Importantly, the candidate statement for the traditional candidate was purposely made very strong, using language currently being used by candidates statewide.  
 
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