Crime Survivors Speak 2022: National Survey Of Victims’ Views On Safety And Justice


69 percent of victims of crime prefer reducing the number of people in jail through safe alternatives like diversion, community service, or treatment programs.

Over 60 percent of people have been a victim of crime in the past decade, and half of them have been victims of a violent crime. As justice policy takes form across the country, the voices of the people who have directly been impacted by crime are important. The Alliance for Safety and Justice commissioned a survey of crime victims nationwide to identify victims of crime and their feelings on justice policy. The findings detailed in this report push against assumptions that victims support tough sentencing policies. In fact, they favor a justice system that focuses on rehabilitation over punishment. In addition, crime victims across demographic groups, including age, gender, race and ethnicity, and political party affiliation, strongly prefer investments in crime prevention and treatment over spending on prisons and jails.

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Key Findings:

  • Victims of crime are more likely to be: low-income, young, people of color, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and people with records.
  • 2 to 1 victims prefer that the criminal justice system focus more on rehabilitating people who commit crimes rather than punishing them.
  • 6 to 1 victims prefer increased investments in mental health treatment over investments in prisons and jails.
  • 87 percent of victims did not receive financial assistance to help recover.


  • Dedicate federal funding for Trauma Recovery Centers. 
  • Expand access and support for victims, such as civil legal services and financial assistance.
  • Increase legal protections for victims to prevent job and housing loss during recovery.
  • Align sentencing and corrections policies with victims’ priorities.

The findings in this survey mirror those from a 2019 Alliance for Safety and Justice study that also found that the overwhelming majority of victims support policies that promote prioritizing rehabilitation over the payment of fines and fees and do not want a person’s inability to pay financial obligations to interfere with rehabilitative goals.

Alliance for Safety and Justice