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Casira Copes
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February 6, 2024

WILMINGTON, DE — The ACLU of Delaware released the results of statewide polling showing that a vast majority of Delawareans favor reforms to the state’s criminal legal system, education funding, and access to reproductive healthcare. Each of these issues have legislation being considered by the General Assembly and Joint Finance Committee to be funded and passed into law. 

The poll covered two major issues on criminal legal reform, including probation and second chances for formerly incarcerated people. 68 percent of those polled agreed that only people on probation who have been arrested for a new crime should be sent back to prison, matching a key reform in Senate Bill 4, which would end incarceration for minor probation violations. In addition, an overwhelming 90 percent of Delawareans agreed that a person’s economic means should not limit their opportunity for a second chance, demonstrating a deep commitment to reforms like ending the requirement to pay fines and fees before one can clear their record. 

“Delawareans strongly support reforms that foster rehabilitation and allow people who have had contact with the criminal legal system to thrive in our community,” said ACLU of Delaware Campaign Manager Vonderlear Smack. “Legislators have the opportunity to break the cycle of incarceration by passing SB 4 now.”  

The ACLU-DE also polled on education funding issues, and found that a majority of Delawareans favored increased funding for public schools, even if taxes increased. This comes after a recent independent report commissioned by the state found significant gaps in funding. 

“Funding for our public schools was incredibly popular with Delaware voters, with 72 percent of voters agreeing that legislators should prioritize significant increases in funding for our schools,” said ACLU of Delaware Executive Director Mike Brickner. “Even when those same respondents were asked whether increased taxes would diminish their support, 60 percent maintained their support for significant increases in public school funding. The message is clear: Delaware voters want more resources for our public schools, and legislators should follow suit and deliver.” 

A majority of Delawareans, 52 percent, also supported requiring Medicaid, private insurance, and state employees’ insurance to cover the cost of abortion care. House Bill 110, currently pending in the House Appropriations Committee, would deliver those reforms.

The polling was performed by Public Policy Polling from December 22-23, 2023, and sampled 559 Delaware voters.

Download Polling Results