New FAMM Poll Reveals Unprecedented Support for Eliminating Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentences

Post Date: October 16, 2015

Results Suggest Public Wants Congress to Pass Bold Reforms

MEDIA CONTACT: Mike Riggs,, 202-822-6706 

WASHINGTON, DC – Families Against Mandatory Minimum (FAMM) President Julie Stewart today released the results of a new poll [pdf], which revealed that an astonishing 77 percent of Americans support repealing mandatory minimums for nonviolent offenses. FAMM commissioned the poll, which was conducted October 7-11 by Public Opinion Strategies, a leading public opinion research firm. A powerpoint presentation of the findings can be viewed here

In addition to finding that support for mandatory minimum repeal has increased from 59 percent in 2008, the last time FAMM conducted the poll, to 77 percent today, we also learned the following:

  • By a three-to-one margin (42 percent to 13 percent), Americans would be more likely to re-elect their congressman if they knew they supported eliminating mandatory minimum prison sentences so judges can make decisions on a case-by-case basis; and
  • 79 percent of Americans agree that the federal government is spending too much money on locking up nonviolent offenders and should shift that funding to other pressing public safety priorities like local law enforcement, victims services, and stricter probation and parole.

“In 25 years, I have never seen such deep and wide support for eliminating mandatory minimum sentences,” said Stewart. “Our poll found that 71 percent of Republicans, including 65 percent who identify themselves as ‘very conservative,’ want to repeal one-size-fits-all sentences.

“What these results tell me is that Congress shouldn’t tinker around the edges. The public wants bold reform and is committed to supporting members of Congress who embrace bold reform,” Ms. Stewart said.

National Survey: Overwhelming Majority of Americans Want Mandatory Minimum Reform