New Poll: Majority of New Yorkers Support Parole Reform in 5-To-1 Margin

By New Yorkers United for Justice | June 7, 2021

New NYUJ Survey Shows Parole Reform Support Spanning All Demographics and Regions, with Individual Elements of Reform Reaching 91% Approval—View the Data HERE

Seizing on New Momentum, NYUJ Launches Ad Campaign to Reinforce Calls to Reform New York’s Broken, Biased, & Expensive Parole System—Watch the Ad HERE

ALBANY, NY—A new statewide poll from New Yorkers United for Justice (NYUJ) shows that the majority of New York voters support parole reform by a 5-to-1 margin. Using this momentum, NYUJ —a bipartisan criminal justice coalition of 14 national and local organizations—is rallying support to secure an overhaul of New York’s broken, biased, and expensive parole system. The coalition’s efforts include a six-figure advertising campaign on TV and digital media across New York State.

“New York’s parole system is broken, biased, and expensive. Our new poll shows that New Yorkers from Brooklyn to Buffalo are eager for commonsense reforms designed to transform our parole system,” said Alexander Horwitz, Executive Director of NYUJ. “Heading into the final week of the legislative session, we have the wind at our backs. Now we’re capitalizing on this momentum and bringing the message of commonsense parole reform directly to New Yorkers across the state.”

Last month, NYUJ commissioned a statewide poll to survey New York voters’ views on parole reform. The results show an absolute and undeniable appetite for commonsense reform, with support transcending all demographics, political affiliations, and geography. Key takeaways include:

  • Overall support: New Yorkers agree our parole system “needs to change” by a 5-to-1 margin (49% “needs to change” to 9% “working well”), with support far outstripping opposition in every demographic;
  • Specific elements of parole reform are exceedingly popular among New Yorkers:
    1. Access to a lawyer: Almost all New Yorkers (91%) believe that people on parole should have access to a lawyer before they are put back in prison, compared to just 3% who do not support this reform
    2. Rewarding good behavior: A full three-quarters of New Yorkers (75%) believe those who consistently obey the rules of parole should be able to earn a shorter parole period — more respondents (13%) had no opinion on the reform than opposed it (12%)
    3. Technical violations should not equal jail: by a nearly 3-to-1 margin, a clear majority of New Yorkers (60% to 21%) believe people on parole shouldn’t be thrown back in jail for non-criminal, technical violations like missing an appointment
    4. Elder parole: New Yorkers support making people over the age of 55 who have served at least 15 years in prison and do not pose a risk to public safety eligible for parole by a nearly 5-to-1 margin (58% to 12%)

Additional data, including breakdowns by gender, age, race, political affiliation, and geography can be found HERE. For more on NYUJ and the fight to reform New York’s broken, biased, and expensive parole system, visit



About New Yorkers United for Justice (NYUJ):

New Yorkers United for Justice is a statewide coalition comprised of local and national non-profit organizations committed to supporting a movement that will bring much-needed criminal justice reform to New York State and ensure that policies promote safety and fairness. NYUJ aims for legislative urgency to fix a broken criminal justice system that punishes the poor and communities of color, tears families apart, and makes New Yorkers less safe. NYUJ believes that a system that ensures equal access to justice for anyone accused in New York State, regardless of age, race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin or religion, must be the standard.