The recommendation calls for civil rights advocates to put mass incarceration on their agenda similar in the ways civil rights advocate’s affirmative action agenda. In my opinion, America is at a turning point where mass incarceration is slowly fading away with state lawmakers trying to cut prison cost. Being labeled as a felon is a stigma that can and will follow individuals for the rest of their lives. However, there is a change in the atmosphere and how society view individuals with felony records. Opportunities are slowly becoming available such as jobs and education, allowing these individuals to reenter society. It’s been 29 years since the War on Drugs campaign was announced and is not going to be overnight to reverse some of the effects of mass
Felon disenfranchisement did not start in the United States. In fact, the practice of felon disenfranchisement began in ancient Greece and Rome before evolving even more in England with “outlawry”, by the time this practice came to the United States it began to evolve into what it is today based on the other nations practices (Grady, 2012, pp. 443-445). Felon disenfranchisement, for those who do not know, is taking away a felon’s right to vote. Usually, this only occurs when they are incarcerated, but some states also do not allow the ex-felons to vote even when they are back in regular society. In Michigan, felons are granted their right to vote again once they are freed from incarceration. Though some may disagree, the state of Michigan should
The judgment of those who have committed serious crimes is not only arguable but untrustworthy. The right to vote should not return to felons upon completing their sentence because, there is no way of knowing if the individual has since improved their character. Ex cons should have to go a certain amount time without committing any sort of crime before voting rights are restored. While some may feel not permitting felons to vote goes against the eighth amendment, not allowing them to vote is in the people’s best
The removal of this right dehumanizes prisoners. The streets of Texas are filled with blue or white collar criminals on bail or simply waiting for their sentence. Presently, if individual are found guilty of a crime, but they are not given a judicial sentence they are still allowed to vote; why should there be treated differently from convicted criminals who are locked up? However, allowing prisoners to vote while in prison would increase voting turnout and also Texas would gain the reputation of becoming one of the two states that allow prisoners to vote while in prison.
states — are prohibited from voting because of current or previous felony convictions. Nearly 150 years after Reconstruction, when felony disenfranchisement laws were first widely implemented throughout the South to intentionally reduce the electoral strength of former slaves, 40 percent of these individuals are African-American — meaning that nearly one in 13 African-American adults are currently ineligible to cast a ballot. In three states — Florida, Kentucky and Virginia — that ratio is one in five.
In this day and age, There are five times as many people in jail as there were in the 1970s. Almost 5 percent of the population of the United States will go to prison at in point of their life. Conservatives believe that imprisonment reduces crime in two ways: it removes criminals from the public so they can not commit more crimes, and it also discourages people who would commit a crime as they consider the consequences. Unfortunately, neither of these outcomes have come to be true. In fact, mass incarceration and “tough on crime” laws have been extremely ineffective that instead of reducing crime, it increases it. There are several different ways to effectively reduce crime other than these two strategies, such as reforming certain policies
What would you do if you were convicted as a felon for the rest of your life for a crime that you knew you were not guilt of ? Many people around the world are convicted as felons not because they are guilty but because they do not have the money or support to have the proper attorney to fight their case. The articles ‘ If You Can’t Follow Laws, You Shouldn’t Help Make Them’ by Roger Clegg and ‘ Felon Disenfranchisement Is Anti-Democratic’ by Janai S. Nelson have different viewpoints on whether convicted felons should be given their rights to vote again. Felons should not have their right to vote taken away because despite what they have been through they are no less human than a regular citizen and deserve to be treated like everyone else.
Other forms of disfranchisement, including the disfranchisement of criminals, remain controversial. Since the early 1990s, all but three states prohibited imprisoned offenders from voting. Thirty-five states disfranchise offenders on probation or parole, and fourteen disfranchise ex-offenders for life. Because a disproportionate share of convicted criminals are non-white, some have argued that such laws constitute a racially discriminatory voting barrier that is as pernicious as poll taxes and literacy tests. Many state criminal disfranchisement laws date back to the Reconstruction era, and such laws were often targeted at offenses for which African Americans were disproportionately convicted. For this reason, some groups have called for the reform or removal of criminal
According to a statistic by the U.S. Department of Justice and their collaborators, the number of prisoners in the U.S. has grown by over 700 percent since the 1970s. This extreme increase in incarcerations means that people disregard the law and constantly commit crimes. But these crimes are not all equal. Crimes range everywhere from murder to simple drug use. Law enforcement punishes almost all of them equally. This can be seen as unjustified and something should be done about it, but that does not stop the crimes from happening. The only way to do that is to deal with the people behind the crimes, either by doing more to support them or remove the cause altogether.
Finally, my last suggestion would be to alter the labels of ex-felonies for minor violations, and changing how to use the criminal check box. Once an ex-convict paid for their time in prison for inferior crimes we should not label then as a felon, so that they can apply for jobs and do not have to check on the felony box when applying for a job. Consequently, ex-convict could get a better chance to be hired, so that they truly have a chance to readjust in the society. People that who are labeled as a felon have a hard time applying for jobs, housings, and getting food stamps, making it impossible to survive and to provide for their family. They can lose their kids, their home, and become homeless and in other cases going back to jail. Once
The Jim Crow laws were meant to strip African American of their rights, to oppress them, to restrict them from ever gaining their rights; Incarceration is essentially doing the same. According to Alexander, many prisons have disenfranchised the felons, and Kentucky has made it legal to disenfranchise them for the rest of their lives. The discrimination, however, does not end there. Once branded a criminal many opportunities that the average american citizens are so privileged to receive are revoked no matter the type of felony. When applying for a job, one must check off the little box that questions if the applicator has ever been convicted of a felony. From there, the employer is able to refuse to hire them if they have checked yes. If the “felon” needs a place to stay, they can also be discriminated against by public housing. Additionally, in some states, being branded a criminal results in the ineligibility of receiving food stamps. Just as Nixon intended, the so-called “war on drugs” has also disrupted black communities. In cities of extreme incarceration, communities find it hard to reconstruct their economy as people are more than likely working low-paying jobs due to being refused again and again by higher paying jobs for being a criminal. Just as the Jim Crow laws segregated blacks from white, extensive incarceration segregates the socioeconomic classes and it is no
On November 6th, millions of people abide by their civic duty and head out to go vote. But about "5.3 million other Americans "(Holding) do not have the ability to vote. Not because they are homebound, or mentally unable to vote. But instead, the 5.3 million Americans are actually convicted felons. In a seemingly amalgamate legal system, Felons, as individuals who have lost their responsibility to carry out societies civic duties; by committing a crime, felons have agreed to give up their right to vote for the future of America. Ultimately, felons' rights lie in the hands of the states, many southern states acknowledge the severity of allowing felons to vote, while more democratic states allow their felons to run free; giving them the ability
According to Phelps (2013), as from 1998 to 2007 states that had the greatest increases in incarceration rates failed to observe a corresponding drop in crime rates. On the other hands, states such as New York, Texas, New Jersey and North and South Carolina that lowered their incarceration rates in favor of community corrections programs experienced a drop in crime rates (p.53). Incarceration has also failed in correcting prisoners. Most of the prisoners always go back to committing crimes once released from prison. It has led to a rise in the recidivism rates of prisoners. Recidivism refers to the repetition of criminal behavior (James, 2011). According to the United States Bureau of Justice 2010 statistics report, three-quarters of released prisoners are constantly rearrested for new crimes and more than half of these go back to prison in a period of two to three years after their release. Ex- inmates account for an approximated 19 percent of all arrests (Phelps, 2013, p.55). Criminals who return to the community are also most of the times worse off after a period of confinement than when they entered. It is attributable to the fact that these inmates learn antisocial and criminal attitudes from other
Giving prisoners the opportunity to vote is not any harm to others. As a result, Maine and Vermont are the only two states that allow ex-felons and prisoners to vote. In these states felons never lose their right to vote. The other states need to follow in their footsteps and come up with a new law for prisoners voting rights. All states should have the same law as Maine and Vermont because this right is fundamental to a democracy. Everybody in prison is incarcerated for many different reasons, some have major crimes, some have minor crimes and some are even falsely
Ladies and gentlemen, today we are here to discuss an important matter, should prisoners be allowed to vote. This matter is mostly based on opinions but such an important decision cannot be taken lightly. Furthermore, both sides of the argument must be taken into balance before a final decision is taken as this decision may impact the entire future of a country.