For several years, the National Center for State Courts has contracted with GBA Strategies to conduct a comprehensive public opinion survey of 1,000 registered voters.
This year, the survey was conducted by telephone between November 14-17, 2016. For those who care about courts, the National Center’s survey is a must read. Survey findings are considered accurate within +/- 3.1 percent, 19 times out of 20.
Key findings of the survey include:
- There are signs of positive momentum in public trust. This comes at a time when trust in government in general is fractured.
- There is a glaring lack of understanding about court funding which is reflective of misconceptions about government spending generally.
- The public seems willing to support reform of the practice of imposing fines and fees on poor defendants.
- The public believes that the ethnicity of a judge may impact fairness. Prior polling by other organizations has found that to a moderate or significant extent the public believes judges make decisions based upon their own personal or political views.
For more detail on the survey findings, download the presentation slides.