Mason-Dixon Poll Finds Florida Voters Oppose Use of Tax Dollars for Bail

Contact: Michael Hough
Phone: (240) 405-7098
Email: mhough@alec.org

Mason-Dixon Poll Finds Florida Voters Oppose Use of Tax Dollars for Bail

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 16, 2011) – The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) today released the findings of a recent Mason-Dixon poll showing that Florida voters oppose using taxpayer dollars to bail criminals out of jail, as opposed to defendants posting their own bail. Statewide, 71 percent opposed using tax dollars to bail criminals out of jail, while 18 percent supported and 11 percent were undecided.

ALEC’s Public Safety Resident Fellow Michael Hough said, “Last November voters sent a clear message at the polls that they wanted elected officials to cut wasteful government spending so it’s no surprise that voters so strongly opposed this criminal welfare program. Floridians are strongly opposed to taxpayer provided bail bonds for criminals who can afford to pay for their release from jail.”

Floridians’ opposition is reflected in the poll results:

• 78 percent felt criminal defendants who have failed to appear in court on a previous offense should not be allowed to be released from jail using tax dollars.

• 75 percent felt that if a criminal defendant can afford to pay their own bail for release from jail, they should not be allowed to be released from jail using tax dollars.

• Support for theses measure cuts across party lines with 79 percent of Republicans, 65 percent of Democrats, and 67 percent of Independents opposing the use of taxpayer dollars to bail non-indigent offenders out of jail.

The poll was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc. of Washington, D.C. from March 3, 2011, through March 5, 2011, with a total of 625 registered Florida voters.  The margin of error is no more than plus or minus 4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

ALEC has made reforming government-run bail a priority and supports policies that protect the taxpayer dollar and public safety. For more information please contact Michael Hough, mhough@alec.org.

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The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is the nation’s largest nonpartisan individual membership association of state legislators, with nearly 2,000 state legislators across the nation and more than 100 alumni members in Congress. ALEC’s mission is to promote free markets, individual liberty, and federalism through its model legislation in the states.