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Americans across party lines are becoming increasingly concerned with rising crime rates and criminal justice reform. While many Democrats will point out that murder rates are rising disproportionately in red states, some Republicans will be quick to respond that violent crime rates are worse in blue cities. Not only do the two sides have different ideas about who is to blame, but they also have many opposing solutions. 

However, most Americans agree that crime is a problem and support select bipartisan solutions. Here are a few examples of data and stories that support that:

  • 2021 data from Pew Research (Center bias) shows 61% of adults said violent crime was a very big problem in the country today. They were more concerned about violent crime than they were about the federal budget deficit (50% said this was a very big problem), climate change (47%), racism (45%), economic inequality (44%), and illegal immigration (43%).
  • 2022 data from YouGovAmerica shows 52% of Americans are somewhat or very worried about themselves or a family member becoming a victim of violent crime, including 55% of Republicans and 55% of Democrats. 
  • 2022 data from YouGovAmerica states that 90% of Democrats and 87% of Republicans think the economy has contributed a lot or a little to the rise in murder rates. 
  • 2021 data from Newsweek (Center bias) found that 84% of voters across the political spectrum named underfunding mental health programs as a contributor to the violent crime increase.
  • 2017 data from the ACLU (Lean Left) showed the following in a poll of 1003 people (33% Democrat, 28% Republican, and 39% Independent): 
    • 91% of Americans say that the criminal justice system has problems that need fixing.
    • 71% say it is important to reduce the prison population in America, including 87% of Democrats, 67% of Independents, and 57% of Republicans.
    • 2 in 3 Americans (68%) would be more likely to vote for an elected official if the candidate supported reducing the prison population and using the savings to reinvest in drug treatment and mental health programs, including 65% of Trump voters.
    • 72% of Americans would be more likely to vote for an elected official who supports eliminating mandatory minimum laws.
    • 87% of Americans believe that when people with mental health disabilities commit violent crimes they should be sent to mental health programs where they can receive treatment from professionals.
    • 61% of Americans also believe that people who struggle with drug addiction and commit serious crimes should be placed in rehabilitation programs where they can receive treatment rather than in prison.
    • 61% of Americans believe that people who have committed crimes involving violence can turn their lives around. 

See more examples of common ground on issues where you might not expect to find it:

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Clare Ashcraft is the Bridging Intern at AllSides. She has a Center bias.

Reviewed by News Research Assistant Ethan Horowitz (Lean Right bias), AllSides Managing Editor Henry A. Brechter (Center bias), Director of Research and Data Journalism Andrew Weinzierl (Lean Left bias), and Weekend News Editor Antonio Ferme (Center bias).

Image: Kindel Media/Pexels