Jul 26, 2018

FIRST STEP Act Backed By 70% of Likely Voters

Post by Freedom Partners

Arlington, Va. – Today, Freedom Partners released the results of a new survey showing that 70% of likely voters support the FIRST STEP Act, prison reform legislation that cleared the U.S. House by a vote of 360-59.


After learning about the FIRST STEP Act, 70 percent said they approve of the bill. Only 14 percent said that the Senate should not pass it.

Sixty-eight percent of respondents said that the primary purpose of the criminal justice system is to punish, but also rehabilitate those convicted of a crime – a primary objective of the legislation. 66% of registered Republican voters agreed with this view.

Seventy percent said they will support the bill if President Trump endorses it, while nearly half (47%) – including almost one-third of registered Republican voters – said they will have a more negative view of Senate Republicans if they fail to pass the bill.

“Voters broadly support the FIRST STEP Act and will hold senators accountable for failing to pass the bill,” said Freedom Partners Chairman Mark Holden. “It’s time for the Senate to do its job and send this bipartisan legislation to President Trump’s desk.”

The FIRST STEP Act would create new, evidence-based risk and needs assessment tools that would be used periodically to prepare incarcerated individuals to successfully reenter their communities as law-abiding individuals. The bill would also ban the shackling of pregnant inmates, allow individuals to earn good time credits of up to 54 days per year, allow outside programs into federal prisons to enhance rehabilitation and reentry, and require prisoners, based on their level of risk, to be placed in facilities within 500 driving miles of their primary residence.

The poll is part of Freedom Partners’ six-figure effort to support the FIRST STEP Act. Recently, the group sent mail to voters in 17 states and launched a digital tool enabling people to urge their senators to back the bill.

The survey was conducted online from July 18th-20th with 1,759 likely voters from across the country.