What Voters Expect from Pretrial Justice

The pretrial phase of the justice system needs to change. Our most recent national poll, conducted in May 2018, found that Americans want to stop using jails as the default response to arrest, and that they will support alternatives that protect and promote safety and fairness.

More than three-quarters of Americans (78%) think that the system currently favors the wealthy. Nearly half of respondents (48%) indicated that community services would be fairer than money bail and demonstrated strong preferences for supports such as court date reminders, services for victims of domestic violence, and drug and alcohol counseling.

Most significantly, a majority of Americans (52%) believe that prosecutors should have to make the case to detain someone before trial—instead of the current practice, which defaults to detention whenever a person cannot afford money bail.


Additional Poll Results