According to the latest survey from the University of Chicago’s GenForward Project, millennials are concerned about the relationship between police and the people they are supposed to serve and protect. More than 40 percent of the people surveyed said that criminal justice issues will influence who they vote for in the 2020 election.
The survey tapped more than 3,400 people ages 18 to 36, and it also found that the majority (57 percent) of millennials, regardless of race or ethnicity, agreed that police treat Black and Latinx people worse than Whites. Though the survey doesn’t include thoughts on police violence, it was conducted in the weeks leading up to the fifth anniversary of Eric Garner (July 17) and Michael Brown’s (August 9) deaths at the hands of law enforcement officers.
Other key findings from the survey that reveal where young adults stand on policing:
- Black millennials avoid the cops: Black adults are more likely to strongly support criminal justice and policing reforms than others. Less than a third of them trust the police and nearly half said they “always” or “often” go out of their way to avoid contact with the police or other law enforcement, compared to just over a quarter of White young adults.
- Millennials are divided on how communities stay safe: The majority of Black (60 percent) and Latinx (52 percent) young adults disagree that communities are safer when we send people to prison who are convicted of certain nonviolent offenses. Meanwhile, the majority of Asian American and Whites agree that communities are safer when nonviolent offenders are imprisoned. They all support policies that eliminate the cash bond system, which locks many people of color behind bars.
- They want more oversight of law enforcement: More than 75 percent of all young adults surveyed said they support policies that put police under the microscope of community accountability boards, require police to wear body cameras and employ community policing strategies.
- Prisons do not help Black communities: Regardless of race or ethnicity, more than half of those surveyed say they agree that the use of prisons has negatively impacted Black communities more than other communities.
To learn more, read the full Gen Forward Project survey.