The Alliance for Safety and Justice have released “the first ever survey of Illinois’ victims views on safety and justice.” The headine stats . . .
“Six in 10 victims prefer alternatives to prison such as rehabilitation, mental health treatment and drug treatment to putting people in prison” and “seven out of ten victims prefer shorter prison sentences and spending more on prevention and rehabilitation programs to prison sentences that keep people in prison for as long as possible.”
The first thing to keep in mind: the results dovetail exactly with the ASJ’s agenda. According to their website, the “Alliance for Safety and Justice [was] launched in 2016 to grow state capacity to replace prison waste with new safety priorities.” So there is that.
The report claims that “these findings . . . hold true across all demographic groups, including race, gender, age, income and political party affiliation.” Yes but — it fails to reveal the survey’s sample size or the respondents’ demographic info. Delving deeper . . .
The research methodology was designed to ensure the inclusion of harder-to-reach demographic groups, such as young people and people with less housing stability . . . David Binder Research oversampled people who identify as black or Latino to ensure that their voices would be adequately represented in the survey . . .
The Alliance for Safety and Justice and David Binder Research also conducted focus groups with crime survivors from Chicago and Peoria. Five total focus groups were conducted with victims from diverse backgrounds including downstate crimes survivors of domestic violence and victims of gun violence and other violent crimes in Chicago.
What questions were asked? Lacking this critical information, given the Alliance’s bias, it’s difficult to take this survey seriously.
Besides, at this point, what difference does it make? Clearly, Illinois’ revolving door justice system and plea bargaining bonanza has failed to stem the tide of firearms-related crime in The Land of Lincoln, especially but not exclusively in Chicago.
And what of law-abiding Illinois residents who aren’t victims of domestic abuse or “gun violence”? People who want criminals to be locked up so they don’t become a victim? Don’t they get a say? Not in this survey they don’t.