New Poll Finds 77% of Americans Support Eliminating Mandatory Minimums for Non-Violent Offenses - FAMM


New Poll Finds 77% of Americans Support Eliminating Mandatory Minimums for Non-Violent Offenses

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A new Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey finds that 77 percent of Americans support eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenses. That number is up from 71 percent in December 2013, the last time Reason-Rupe polled on the question. You can find the full survey results here (PDF); mandatory minimums are question 17. 

“Almost three decades have passed since the United States instituted harsh mandatory minimums for non-violent drug offenses. During that time, countless lives have been ruined and countless families destroyed. The American people have noticed, and they want no more of it,” said Julie Stewart, president and founder of Families Against Mandatory Minimums.

The poll question Reason-Rupe posed reads as follows: “Would you favor or oppose eliminating mandatory minimum prison sentences for nonviolent offenders so that judges have the ability to make sentencing decisions on a case-by-case basis?”

Seventy-seven percent of respondents said they favored eliminating mandatory minimums, while only 17 percent of respondents said they were opposed. When Reason-Rupe asked the same question in December 2013, 71 percent of respondents were in favor of eliminating mandatory minimums, and 24 percent were opposed.

“We’ve long known that mandatory minimums aren’t good policy. Today’s poll results are further evidence that they are also not good politics,” Stewart said. “Any legislator who was on the fence about reforming mandatory minimums needs to get off it.”

34 responses to “New Poll Finds 77% of Americans Support Eliminating Mandatory Minimums for Non-Violent Offenses

  1. Having 2 family members in jail is extremely hard.Financially and mentally.Neither committed a violent crime and both got more time than someone here who ran over someone twice on purpose and another who got DUID and killed 2 people.What’s fair in that for anyone?

  2. Why are they only considering nonviolent drug offenders? Mandatory sentences are WRONG for all nonviolent crimes. You have so many people that repeatedly commit crimes because they have a drug addiction which the nonviolent drug dealer contributes to. I feel, if you are going to help the persons that contribute to the addiction of the addicts; the least you could do is consider the fact that you have people that need help with an addiction, NOT to be locked up for extended periods of time

  3. Mandatory Minumum Sentencing is very unfair and unconstitutional.The judge should have the right to sentence each NonViolent Drug Offender, not to just go by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
    Very Violent criminals Murderers, Child Molestors and Rapists in state prisons are spending a lot less time than Non-Violent Drug Offenders in Federal Prison. This is America, everyone should be tried equally, Our Laws need to be changed NOW.

  4. Il do whatever it takes to vote for no more mandatory minimums it’s really not fare

  5. I think that they let all the violet Prisoners out because it is a shame that they are still locked! if were their loved ones tjey wkuld have been out so please get rid of these harsh out dated druglaws so that our love ones can come because My Son Is A. Non viilent drug offender and i want my son to vome very very soon so let,s get These bills of s.1410 and h.r.3383 pass now!

  6. I’m against mandatory minimums people are way to much time because of this we need to get this changed as quickly as possible so that inmates can get home and get their family live back on track

  7. I just want to thank Julie Stewart for being the spokes person for families and inmates of this cruel sentencing. So many families have been destroyed including mine and I only pray that these laws actually do get reversed and something is done.

  8. I was a mother at the age 16 with my son who is in federal prison for meth ,he did not sell any he did it for his on use , my only child, he has been in there for 4 years and ever day that goes by take something away from me, my son is a good man that was the only thing he did that was wrong and because of the mandatory sentencing my grandkids has to grow up with out a dad , it is hard to look in the little faces and tell them that there daddy is not coming back and I think all the time about him its very hard on me because my son got with the wrong people and got hook on a drug , but he made his on and did not sell or gave it to kids or any one, he was only hurting him and he got mandatory so please make away with mms ,

  9. Our son David was given a 10 year sentence – entirely too long for the crime.



  10. Isn’t it obvious our prisons are overcrowded..lives being wasted…rehabilitation not incarceration!! Our young men become institutionalized!

  11. I support abolishing Mandatory Minimums 100%. Drug addicts need help & not locked up with the violent criminals!

  12. my husband to be is in jail for breaking in a house he got 7 years he lose his mother when he went in now losing his father and he cant even see him when he dies he never hurt anyone in his life he is a good guy the judges think bye giving them time like this is good its not he has a kid why put the ones that need to be in there not the ones that need to be home with there family taxes could go to braclets i would pay to have him home and not jail

  13. Nothing is more unfair then the put everyone in prison for the same amount of time for the same charge. There are too many things to consider. Federal courts are forcing innocient people to plea guilty when they are not. Telling them to plea guilty or others will testify against them to get their sentence lighter. My daughter was given a sentence 4 years longer (11 years) then the people who were dealing the drugs, because they pointed the finger at her to get their sentence lighter. She was innocent…took a poloygraph that showed innocent. But pleaded guilty because she was told “they” would lie and she would go to prison for 20 to life.

  14. I am seeing first hand the destruction of mandatory miniums, a family broken, children left to be supplemented by the state, a man’s business in shatters and a wife and family membes trying to hold it all together for non-violent marijuana charges. A trial that was about as underhanded as it gets, (to put it nicely) and a prosecutor who was determined to be as harsh as possible, because the defendant did not take a plea bargain and exercised their constitutional right to a trial, because they were innocent and wanted their day in court. The trial was pathetic riddled with injustices.

  15. These drug laws are very harsh. Everyone deserves a second chance in their life. Especially the first offenders. I think that after the first time in jail for these crimes can change a person, for the better. Maybe some rehabilitation instead of so many years in prison.
    I have a brother, sister in law, and a nephew in jail for a first time mistake that is costing them dearly..I also know that this will never happen again. These are good people, that thought it was easy to be dumb. But I’m sure it will be the last.

  16. I ask all people reading this story contact your senators and tell them that you stand behind these bills we want them passed. We are tired of our families suffering these are non-violent drug offenders most were just addicts needing help to get off drugs.

  17. I’m a single mother of three children my oldedest is facing a long sentence mind u this is his first time being involved with the law my son graduated high school has some college under his belt and if you ask anyone school teachers his employers family or friends they will all say the same thing he’s not a problem child never has been and all because of this mandatory minimum sentencing I might lose my baby for some yrs this is not fair this needs to hurry up n change before he gets sentenced! But right now all my faith is in God n I hope he helps the judge give my son a reasonable sentence

  18. I applaud people like Eric Holder and others that are fighting to get our non violent love ones freed. My love on has been in federal prison for 11 years now on drug charges initially he was giving life but, successfully gave a portion of that sentence back. I’m looking forward to seeing inmates including my love one to be selected for the clemency project. This would give them a second chance at freedom and an opportunity to be productive citizens.

  19. I believe the law need to be changed, these old outdated laws are destroying to many lives, you have the person who is incarcerated life being destroyed, their family especially the children of the inmate, these children sometimes grow up to become incarcerated individuals themselves due to the lack of being without one or both parent. My son is serving 35 years in federal prison for attempting to possess marijuana, which is legal in some states, there was no violence associated with his case. Step up congress and change these outdated LAWS….Keep the prisons opened for violent offenders….

  20. The people being hurt are not the people who are manufacturing and smuggling, but our sons and daughters. These young people need treatment, not prison

  21. I would love for my husband to come home to me soon as well as his kids. You have terrorist doing 15 years u have muderers and child molesters doing 7 years these are people that’s more of a threat to society. My husband is a nonviolent drug offender serving 23 years where is the justice

  22. Please, Lord let the mandatory minimum laws be changed, allow the federal sentencing guideline become recognized as unjust and harsh for our loved ones who. Are not violent, who are not ment to be caged away like an animal for the rest of their lives, and yes I said the rest of their lives.

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