Should prison inmates be allowed to vote in elections?

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  1. Dave Manors profile image61
    Dave Manorsposted 14 years ago

    Should prison inmates be allowed to vote in elections?

    Criminals in jail are there because they choose to operate outside the limitations that society has designed in law. Is it right that we give those same criminals a say in how those rules are made and how society is run?

  2. brad4l profile image72
    brad4lposted 14 years ago

    I don't think that it would be right for them to vote while they are actually in jail, but after they get out and have served their time, I do not see why it would be a problem.

    A big part of the justice system should be about punishing a person for their crimes. If you continue to punish them when they get out, you are only breeding an environment where an ex-criminals only option is to be a criminal, which is something that happens all to often in the US.

  3. John Fracchia profile image60
    John Fracchiaposted 14 years ago

    My opinion is that inmates should lose their right to vote while they are in prison.  After that, however, it should be restored.  I believe that our prison system would benefit from significant reform.  First, I think that every incoming prisoner should undergo educational testing to determine their level of literacy and overall ability to function.  If they are not up to the level of a high school graduate, then mandatory classes should be part of their incarceration and a condition of release should be attaining their GED.  Day to day privileges would be linked to their academic performance and overall effort.  Second, each prisoner should spend the majority of their time working, preferably at a trade that could be used after their period of incarceration has ended.  A good work ethic and performance would also lead to increased privileges.   My view is that if prison was a work/night school model, we might turn out people better prepared to be productive citizens.

  4. profile image0
    sbeakrposted 14 years ago

    It is hardly logical for jailed criminals to vote.  Their incarceration somewhat prohibits active involvement in political and social affairs in the first place, right?

  5. Derrik profile image59
    Derrikposted 14 years ago

    Think about it- if we spent a ton of money for you and me, LAW ABIDING CITIZENS, that equals the amount we spend on CRIMINALS in our OVERLOADED PRISONS, would you be debt free?  I would.  I would also be able to afford a house and a new car at the very least, 2 things I need but cannot afford.  We would save TENS OF BILLIONS every year just by bringing back capitol punishment, and not allowing murderers and rapists to live for 10 to 20 years in our prisons.  People who are truly guilty, should be put to death, quickly and swiftly.  That may sound cold and heartless, but think about how that would save tens of millions of dollars a year, AND what effect it would have on other criminally minded people who have not been caught.  If you know that you will be executed immediately after trial if you
    are found guilty of a capitol crime, would you commit the crime in the first place?  Evidence proves that systems that support far stricter forms of punishment for these types of offenses have a significantly lower crime rate.  It is not about treating these poor humble folks with proper humanitarian love, it is about setting an example to society that these evil people are dead because they broke the law resulting in the death or harm of their fellow man.  And we are letting these evil people VOTE????  What the heck ever.

  6. profile image0
    sneakorocksolidposted 14 years ago

    When you violate the laws of this sociaty you lose the right to be an active member. Now, if they repay the cost of their trial and their punishment then reestablishing their  might be worth exploring. If the liberals handle it first they'll cry for them, then they'll buy them a house and a car because they were only misunderstood so it's not their fault.

  7. Kenny MG profile image76
    Kenny MGposted 14 years ago

    People doing time is a result of being conviction in the law courts for their failures. In such correctional institutions there are certain rights and priviledges which are no more accessible to him. If we allow a prisoner the common comfort and luzury he became accustomed to before he offend, what are the meaning of of those institutions? What would be the use of the legal system? Yet even in prison, I beleive there are certain rights which have been fought for and won through blood, sweat and tears. And offending society, does and should not rob one of such rights. Voting is a right one should have, and never lose no matter what crime we have comitted. You should have the right to chose your government, the leadership of your country, even in prison!

  8. EdG. profile image61
    EdG.posted 14 years ago

    Well the country is already run by criminals, so they might as well be elected by criminals.

    But seriously no, and while we're on the subject, the intensely stupid should not have a vote either...actually scratch that, that would disqualify almost everyone in this country.

  9. breakfastpop profile image64
    breakfastpopposted 14 years ago

    To put it quite succinctly..No. When you are in prison you should forfeit your rights and privileges.

  10. Hi-Jinks profile image61
    Hi-Jinksposted 13 years ago

    Only for Chili-Max or Cheese melt. Anything else no.

  11. Christopher Floyd profile image59
    Christopher Floydposted 13 years ago

    This stupid thing demands that I make my answer longer, so hell no.

  12. H P Roychoudhury profile image42
    H P Roychoudhuryposted 13 years ago

    No body will prefer a criminal to decide the fate of a country by giving vote. But if a criminal is allowed to live in a prison instead of giving death sentence he or she must be provided with the opportunity of rectification. If his or her activity shows improvement, there should be provision for further improvement. And if he or she crosses the bar of improvement, then there should not be any bar to deprive the person from the voting right.

  13. profile image57
    Jane Taxpayerposted 13 years ago

    Firstly, and i don't know if this is the case in the states, but in Canada where I currently reside, there is a significantly high rate of people who are put in jail because they have been falsely accused. Secondly, would this include incarceration while awaiting trial? If you are truly innocent until proven guilty, than pre-trial incarcerants should be allowed to vote.

    Plus I disagree with Derrik. China has the world's most severe forms of capitol punishment, and public executions occur on a highly regular basis. If Capitol punishment were truly a deterrent, than wouldn't these executions be less frequent, rather than more frequent?

    In Canada, we do not execute anyone, and we have a significantly lower crime rate than almost any given U.S. state, including ones where capitol punishments exist. So do most European countries. We also have a lower rate of repeat offenders. Granted there are still flaws in our system, when we consider what most repeat offenders crime is, and I do believe we should crack down on them.

    In the end, I believe voting in jails should be mandatory, as it encourages people to become socially active and better model citizens upon release.

  14. klw1157 profile image83
    klw1157posted 13 years ago

    Your defintion of criminal is pretty broad. Surely an intelligent man like yourself would understand that there are different circumstances for each situation. I cannot speak about the circumstances in State Facilities because I was never there but I did serve time in Federal prison. I didn't tell on a friend and served time on a conspiracy charge. Did I break the law absolutely? Was I aware that I was doing it at the time, hardly I didn't even know that the law existed. Rest assured that there are many others in the Federal system that have stories just like mine. My personal opinion is that just as sentences are handed down based on the severity of the crime. So should the consideration of whether or not to restore rights, voting included. There are in fact some men and women who return home and reestablish themselves as productive members of society. Not everybody who goes to prison is a crack dealer.

  15. Jason R. Manning profile image83
    Jason R. Manningposted 12 years ago

    Very interesting responses thus far; It is interesting those on the side of criminals being allowed to vote think they have a natural right.  Lets just forget the fact that logical decision making evaded them upon committing crimes against the state, so naturally they are going to vote logically as well.
    I would give them the right to vote if they could name 5 Presidents and their Vice Presidents.  Taking it a step further, any citizen that couldn’t name 5 of the 44 presidents shouldn’t be allowed to vote…now bring on the “vote down” button you apologists!

  16. onegoodwoman profile image69
    onegoodwomanposted 12 years ago

    Yes, I think they should.......not because of any " human rights"  issues or unjust punishment propaganda, BUT, because their families, who did not commit a crime, must still live under the laws of the land, and within the society it builds.

    I can not even imagine, that the most cold blooded and heartless crimminal, does not care about his, (her) mother or his, (her) children.

  17. pavlovswriter profile image60
    pavlovswriterposted 12 years ago

    Yes - and here's why:

    Although they broke the laws which bind us all - the only true way to bring them back into society is to allow them to vote for the rules which they need to abide by in the future. You pray for your sins in church - should you be allowed to donate there as well?

    Are you told you can be a member of a church but are only allowed to attend the sermons if you stay outside? Or, maybe you can ride the city bus... but are only allowed to sit in the back?

    How could you expect a person with no available vote to abide by and join in working together as a society when they have no choice over what laws bind them to the society?

    As a society, casting out a person and not giving them equal rights seems unjust. they went to jail or prison, they paid their dues - as a whole, we should be encouraging former prisoners to become a part of our society. How do you bring these people back into our lawful society if we are keeping them at arms length?

  18. profile image0
    Longhunterposted 12 years ago

    As part of their punishment and suffering the consequences of their own actions, no, they should not be allowed to vote while in prison. It's simple, if you want to to keep your rights, don't do the crime to get sent to prison.

  19. jrsearam profile image60
    jrsearamposted 12 years ago

    The Right to Vote is a fundamental human right. However, many of our states enforce laws that deny this right not only to convicted felons but also to parolees, those on probation and even ex-convicts. This last case being unique among the world's democracies. Because I believe democracy is nurtured by participation and withers under exclusion, it seems to me that we should extend the fundamental right to vote to all citizens who have reentered society after fulfilling the demands of justice. Although it seems fair that a person whose conduct has cost him his freedom should also lose the right to vote, once freedom is regained so should the right to vote.

  20. profile image53
    123ashokposted 12 years ago

    election of the society has been delcared on 28/11/2010 and the objection has to be filed before 18/11/10 we have already filed the objection on 18/11/2010 now we want to postphoned the election as the contesting person for committee members are not paid the monthly outgoings, non submission of balance sheet.

  21. Muneer A. Saleh profile image60
    Muneer A. Salehposted 12 years ago

    In democracy everyone who is mentally capable of spreading their voice should.

    1. Oh I See profile image60
      Oh I Seeposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      With the mental institutions of America being closed, the mentally ill with no families to see they are put in group homes are put in REMOTE area prisons. Many are medicated until they die, are cremated and disposed of. See my reply above please.

  22. WhiteHotToddy profile image60
    WhiteHotToddyposted 12 years ago

    No way! In my view when you are in jail the only rights your are entiitled to are your human rights which are the bare necessities. The simple bare necessities. The simple bare necessities of life.

  23. Oh I See profile image60
    Oh I Seeposted 11 years ago

    Prisons are switching to privatization so regardless of what anyone answers, it's going to be up to each prison what it lets certain inmates do and not do. If you question my reply to this question then go look it up.
    It doesn't matter what we think, and the government will soon enough no longer be taking YOUR TAX dollars to house them. They will survive on family donations including donating animals to serve as "company/love/companionship." PEOPLE will donate for animals not to be put down. Look it up, several states ALREADY let long term inmates own cats. Read prison blogs.
    Some people are jailed unfairly. The answers here have no gray area. The punishment should fit the crime, and as it is, it does not.
    I see people think there is "overcrowding" when that is TEMPORARY. The prisons that are closed are getting RENOVATIONS. Guards will become a thing of the past as "smart walls" are made, wrist tethers and electronic crawling mechanisms. These things will monitor ALL inmate activity, and ALL interaction; medical etc. including visitations will be diminished to video. LOOK IT UP. You will not be given rights to vote on if a private prison lets their inmates vote or not.


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