The conventional wisdom among politicians has long been that safety is delivered through “tough-on-crime” approaches like more police, more jails, and more prisons. But voters know better. Across the country, in big cities and small towns, the failure and injustice of mass incarceration is clear. Communities understand that real safety comes from solutions that prevent crime in the first place, not just reactive measures like police, courts, and incarceration.
It’s time to get the facts straight about the politics of crime. People want safety, accountability, and justice. Vera Action’s public opinion research and polling shows that voters want a comprehensive approach to safety; one that prioritizes investing in the things that keep communities safe in the first place, like good schools, housing, and mental health care, over a narrow “tough-on-crime” approach.