Survey shows growing support for criminal justice reform in Louisiana

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BATON ROUGE – Researchers in the Public Policy Research Lab at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication found support among people in Louisiana is growing for criminal justice reforms.

Still, few believe the system is fair or effective at keeping communities safe. These details come from the fifth of six reports from the 2019 Louisiana Survey, which shows growth for criminal justice reforms is especially strong among Republicans and independents.

The Louisiana Survey, conducted by PPRL interviewers, polled 917 Louisianans age 18 or older across the state to find out how people from all areas of the state view Louisiana government and its policies. The survey was conducted from Feb. 15 to March 7, and the total sample has a margin of error +/- 4.6 percentage points.

Findings from the fifth of six reports show these key opinions on criminal justice:

  • The percentage of Louisiana residents who approve of the state’s criminal justice reforms is up from 61 percent in 2018 to 70 percent today.
  • This growth is especially strong among Republicans (+14 percentage points) and independents (+12 percentage points).
  • Despite the popularity of criminal justice reform, few Louisiana residents believe the system is fair or believe it is effective at keeping communities safe.
  • Only about one-third (32 percent) agree with the statement that the current criminal justice system in Louisiana is fair.
  • Most state residents (54 percent) disagree with this statement.
  • Similarly, 32 percent agree that Louisiana’s current criminal justice system is effective at keeping communities safe, and 55 percent disagree.

The Louisiana Survey has been conducted annually for the last 18 years, establishing rich longitudinal measures of public opinion in Louisiana. The mission of the Louisiana Survey is to establish benchmarks as well as to capture change in residents’ assessments of state government services. The survey is a project of the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs, an integral part of the Manship School of Mass Communication. Read the full fifth report from the Louisiana Survey here: http://pprllsu.com/projects/. The sixth of six reports from the Louisiana Survey is slated for release on Thursday, April 18.