Media Contact

Imelda Mejia, ACLU of Texas, (713) 942-8146 x123, [email protected]

February 23, 2018

DALLAS — According to a new poll conducted by Public Policy Polling, 82% of Dallas County residents believe it is important to reduce incarceration by using alternatives to prison.

“We’re beginning to experience a sea change in the public perception of what justice in Texas should look like,” said Sharon Watkins-Jones, director of political strategies for the ACLU of Texas. “This data not only reveals a powerful appetite for justice reform, transparency and accountability in Dallas, it also demonstrates just how motivated voters are this election year. With 90% of those polled indicating they’re likely to vote in this election, everyone running for the Dallas County’s district attorney’s office should pay close attention to these numbers.”

Key finding from the poll include:

  • 90% of Respondents Certain or Very Likely to Vote in Dallas County’s Upcoming DA Election.
  • ​63% of Dallas residents desire treatment rather than incarceration for those with drug addictions
  • 72% of Dallas residents desire the elimination of racial bias in the justice system
  • Most voters want transparency and accountability in the district attorney’s office, 75% and 74%, respectively
  • A plurality of voters, 44%, are more likely to vote for a candidate who believes that nobody should be held in jail only because they are too poor to afford bail
  • The ACLU of Texas recently filed a lawsuit against Dallas County for its discriminatory bail policies, which automatically jail arrestees who cannot make a payment.

The ACLU of Texas commissioned the poll as part of its Campaign for Smart Justice, which focuses on local district attorney races in order to raise awareness of justice reform issues and effect meaningful change in the criminal justice system. To achieve its results, Public Policy Polling conducted 1029 telephone interviews from Feb. 2 – Feb. 5. The margin of error for the data set is ± 3.2% at the 95% confidence level.

View the Public Policy Polling memo