Michelle Rosenthal

social worker, Dr Susan Smith McKinney Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

This conversation is closed.

Should people convicted of a felony crime in the past and have completed their debt to society have their right to vote restored in USA?

Do you think people convicted of a felony should be allowed to vote again once their debt to society was paid?

If so how can we effectively advocate for people to have their voting rights restored after they are released from their sentence.

Do you think people still in jail or prison should be allowed to vote especially if their crime was not violent in nature?

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    Nov 14 2011: the most dangerous thing ever if a government starts to exclude groups from voting. what is the rationale behind it? i doubt there is one.
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    Nov 22 2011: I think it's okay to take voting rights away from violent criminals, that's about all. I don't think people who have been found to be truly destructive of human life, should be allowed to influence governance, because they probably want everything to destroy itself. In general though I'm pro voting rights, I just might leave rape, murder, and assault with a deadly weapon as justifiable reasons to remove them.

    As far as solutions to the reform problem as a whole. I actually propose a public private partnership, where we let companies have access to cheap prison labor, if they provide guaranteed jobs, and verified work experience to their prison employees for a six month or 1 year period after the prisoner pays his debt. I think the biggest problem we have right now is that you need to go right from prison to employment, or you starve, and thus turn to crime, and there aren't jobs for prisoners. So, since we're making prisoners do work for corporations in prison anyway, just make corporations hire them when they get out... I think it would make a relatively big impact cheaply. I'm going to make it a ballot initiative in CA.
  • Nov 17 2011: I think a person should be given the right to vote once they have served their time. The bigger problem is re-entry into society where they are still punished even though they have served there time. I don't know what it's like in other countries but here in the US people are locked out of work, public housing and live with the stigma of having been in prison.
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      Nov 17 2011: Hi James, Thanks for writing. I agree with you. But how do we fix the problem is the bigger question?
      • Nov 18 2011: Hi Michelle
        I'm working on a prison reform committee in Pennsylvania that's trying to address some of these problems like re-entry into the community. We need more States to follow so these folks do truely get a second chance.
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    Nov 16 2011: You could make the case that some offenses are horrid enough that as part of the punishment for those crimes you give up your right to vote in a civil society. To my knowledge though, that isn't how the issue is framed in law now, so I agree with you all, that it can't be justified.
  • Nov 14 2011: Absolutely yes. I think everyone is deserves a another chance. especially if the person give signal of change, i can't see why not. Somehow, it could be a kind of example to the society
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    Nov 14 2011: Yes of course it seems a nonsense that someone with a previous conviction cannot vote. The House of Lords is the upper house of the UK parliament, these hereditary Lords and Ladies apparently cannot be stripped of their titles unless they commit treason. Lord Taylor of Warwick and Baron Archer of Weston-super-Mare, a life peer can still sit in the House of LordsPM David Cameron is on record saying that 'everyone' deserves a 2nd chance