I’m trying to write this query in such a matter that it does not involve DEBATES into why post-incarcerate disenfranchisement should or should not occur – but rather the rationale(s) behind such notions.
I understand that prison is about punishing the guilty, safeguarding the public, the denial of freedoms, choices, basic human urges, opportunities and legislative rights. What I don’t get is why this should continue to affect those same people AFTER time is served. Does it depend on the type of felony committed? Is recidivism
a factor? Are race, socioeconomic factors? Are there loopholes in this law so that, say, a white collar criminal who’s served time can make some later repeal and continue to vote?
Here in the state of South Carolina, there is supposedly a bill in the Senate (already passed in the House, I’m told) that would continue to prevent felons from voting for an additional 15 years after they’ve served their time AND completed any supervisory requirements. Many of the felons are young black males (hence, my bias and concern) serving time for nonviolent drug offenses.
So again, why – after someone has already BEEN punished, finished probation and have been returned to society, can’t they vote?
Is this typical? How does SC rank against other states in the union in this manner? Florida, for example? California? Ohio? New York?
Legal experts, ACLU members and ex-felons – love to hear from you.