Can prisoners vote?

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Voting is the expression of one's mind, desire, or choice, especially in an election or in response to proposed questions (Burgan 53-54). An inmate is a citizen who is imprisoned, locked in a jail, or in the custody of the sheriff. Voting is a privilege that is extended to any legitimate resident of every given country, regardless of color, sex, class, or preference. This freedom is usually enshrined in these countries' constitutions (Whitehead par.1-2). The biggest concern here is why people forfeit their right to vote after committing a crime and being arrested and sentenced. This essay will, therefore, focus on arguing whether or not the inmates should be granted an opportunity to vote. It will take two positions, first presenting a case for the provision of voting to prisoners and against giving them the right to vote.

To begin with, the prisoners ought to be given the right to vote. First, voting is a fundamental right guaranteed in the constitution of any democratic state like the U.S. or U.K. Thus, any attempt to deny someone an opportunity to do is a compelling reason for a legal battle. Denying inmates the right to vote is undermining respect for the law which has laid down frameworks for their incarceration and detention. Therefore, limiting their right to vote can get equalized to losing the significant means of helping them embrace the democratic values and social responsibility. Nonetheless, allowing them to vote is building the principles of equality, citizen participation, and inclusiveness. Secondly, some positive benefits might arise from allowing prisoners to vote. The fundamental right is arbitrarily applied to all offenders irrespective of their expected term in jail and the type of law they had broken. Excessive sanctions are not necessary with reforms witnessed in the prisons in the recent past (Burgan 54-55). Thirdly, since the prisoners do not necessarily lose their citizenship, then it is just and equitable for them to enjoy the fundamental right to vote. Lastly, they still are part of the democratic polity, and those outside prisons can learn from what they have to say, better understanding on their side on the life issues having tested either life and it is unconnected to the intention of the punishment (Whitehead par.2-4).

On the other hand, the prisoners do not deserve to vote. The first argument against granting them voting rights is because they got incarcerated for breaking the law and going against the society_x0092_s expectations. The logic here is simple since if one can break the law, then he or she cannot be legible to make the same law. It takes a serious crime for one to get incarcerated or locked up in prison. Therefore, the liberty and right to vote ought to get withdrawn to combat those particular vices. Since prison population is minor compared to the general population in the US, then denying these people the right to vote is negligible. For example, there are around two million inmates who are a negligible number compared to the general population. Everything else other than the basic needs should get earned, either through work, behavior or genuine effort to improve themselves. Prison is for punishment and correction and not for comfort.

Denying the inmates the right to vote is one of the ways of discouraging citizens from committing crimes that can land them in jail. Inmates are not responsible enough to vote having been subjected to such a controlled environment. Allowing the inmates to vote is as good as allowing other groups to still do the same such as the; mentally challenged. A decision may be made without sobriety getting engaged. The control given to the inmates can easily make them chose the leaders on the basis of who has been able to meet their present needs. What they focus in most cases is their basic needs, yet it is a responsibility of any government to do so (Emily 1).

In conclusion, the inmates need to be granted a right to vote in my opinion. It is both a democratic right and a way to get them back to the society as responsible citizens. Prison is for reformation and rehabilitation. One needs to be introduced to the community more so in this dynamic world. The right to vote is one aspect of it.

_x000c_Works Cited

Burgan, Michael. Voting and Elections. London: Raintree, 2013. Print.

Fox, Emily. _x0091_Prisoners _x0091_do not deserve the Vote_x0092_ Say MPs in Debates_x0092_ Express. February 10th, 2011. Web. Accessed March 31, 2017.

Whitehead, Tom. _x0091_Denying Prisoners the Vote Makes Them "Non-People" Says Human Rights Chief._x0092_ The Telegraph. April 1st, 2011. Web. Accessed March 3, 2017.

October 25, 2022
Category:

Government Crime World

Subcategory:

Elections

Subject area:

Voting Prison Countries

Number of pages

3

Number of words

775

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46

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