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Study Suggests Crime Victims Support Shorter Sentences and Rehabilitation

photo of gavel and handcuffs
The survey was conducted by telephone and online in 2016 by David Binder Research.

Several proposals at the Statehouse are attempting to cut down on prison time in favor of rehabilitation. Supporters say this reduces overcrowding in prisons and the likelihood of repeat offenses. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports one group is trying to bring the voice of victims into the conversations.

It might seem intuitive to believe most survivors of crime want offenders locked away for a long time. But that’s not the case, according to a study from the Alliance for Safety and Justice. It shows 61 percent of victims want shorter prison sentences. As the group’s Robert Rooks puts it, the lives of victims and offenders are closely intertwined by their circumstances.

“It’s very common to have someone that has one son in prison and another son in the cemetery,” he says.

Rooks says victims would rather see more investment in education, substance-abuse treatment and rehabilitation services, which can prepare offenders to return to their communities.