New poll shows majority of North Carolinians support second chances for criminals

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A new poll released today by Conservatives for Criminal Justice Reform shows similarly overwhelming support for the legislation among voters in North Carolina.

The Second Chance Act (SB562) would expand eligibility for expunging nonviolent criminal charges after a lengthy waiting period and automates expungement of certain dismissed or “not guilty” charges.

One in four North Carolinians have criminal records.

“These results are heartening but not surprising,” said Tarrah Callahan, Executive Director of Conservatives for Criminal Justice Reform. “The Second Chance Act is quite simply about expanding opportunity for North Carolinians who want to rebuild their lives.”

When asked about various provisions included in SB562, over 80 percent of voters responded positively.

The survey also found that a strong majority of voters would either be “more likely” to vote for a candidate who supported reducing barriers for individuals with criminal records or that it would make no difference at all.

The Second Chance Act passed the NC Senate unanimously in May 2019 and, despite getting favorable reports from the House Judiciary and House Rules committees, has not been brought before the House for a vote. Supporters are urging the NC House to take up the bill.

Public Opinion Strategies conducted this statewide survey of 800 registered voters in North Carolina between January 4-7, 2020. The poll has a margin of error of +3.5%.

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