Crime Victim Priorities Differ From Trump’s

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More than 800 crime victims surveyed by the Alliance for Safety and Justice, which favors criminal justice reform, supported priorities very different from President Trump’s, the New York Times reports. About three in four said they were happy with their local police and law enforcement in general. About one-third held positive views of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Asked to name two things that contributed most to crime in their communities, just 12 percent of victims blamed undocumented immigrants. Almost nobody thought there were too few people in prison. More than half named drug and alcohol addiction, and nearly a third pointed to poor parenting. Mental health issues and a lack of job opportunities also ranked high on the list.

A vast majority of respondents supported more treatment for addiction and mental health, while they were less enthusiastic about Trump administration policies like seeking the maximum punishment for drug offenders and increasing deportations, which only 40 percent of respondents favored. Nearly two-thirds said they did not want federal drug laws to be enforced in states where marijuana use has been legalized. Sessions has sent strong signals that he will pull back from the Obama administration’s aggressive oversight of police departments, suggesting that it encourages disrespect for the police and hampers their ability to do their jobs. Fifty-four percent of crime victims opposed any retreat from federal oversight.

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