Requiring convicts to work 40 hours weekly while in prison “so that they are productive, not destructive when they get out” was one of the most popular anticrime ideas among Americans surveyed in a new national poll. The survey was conducted in mid-December by the firm Cooper & Secrest Associates for the liberal think tank Third Way. Sixty-one percent called the convict-work suggestion very effective; 30 percent called it somewhat effective, a combined 91 percent endorsement of effectiveness.
Other ideas rated “very effective” included making it illegal for an adult to pose as a minor on the Internet (66 percent), requiring police to check the immigration status of suspected illegal immigrants arrested for violent crimes (65 percent), and creating college scholarship programs for low-income high-school graduates who stay off drugs and are not arrested (61 percent). Among ideas on the lower end of the “very effective” scale were using high technology anticrime devices like video surveillance (47 percent) and faith-based programs that train ex-offenders and place them in jobs (36 percent).