It has long been known that whether felons should be allowed to have the rights of voting or not is a disputable issue. After completing their sentence, people with the felony conviction are able to vote. On the other hand, those who are still in prison or on probation do not have that right. They are ones who are nearly voiceless, especially the ex-convicts and the incarcerated prisoners. We cannot deny the fact that felons who are allowed to vote will feel they are valuable and more connected to the community as well.
To be more specific, when the voting rights of the felons, inmates or convicts are extended, it will help to make life fairer as well as enhance the social issue. Moreover, the felons are also ensured with the individual rights. Research has shown that by voting, the recidivism is reduced, which leads to the reduction of crime as well.
As a matter of fact, the felon voting rights are fairly different among lots of states. Some of them has some felon disenfranchisement laws that make the act of casting their ballots of the offenders become harder, no matter they are the current or former ones. Additionally, since such laws vary from state to state, especially the laws about the voting rights of felons, a lot of convicted felons are not aware of their ability or opportunity to vote. And if they are continuously isolated and prevented from voting or having other individual rights under these laws, the laws will be likely to increase the crime commitment of such people in the future. Additionally, this action may affect the civic as well as the communal participation.
In some states, it does not matter what you did, why you are convicted, how young you were… as long as you have a felony conviction, you do not have the right to vote unless the governor wants to pardon you. Move to another aspect, other than voting rights, a lot of people still consider what other rights that the felons lose. There is no doubt that there are not the same number of rights between convicted felons and other people without any felony on their record. Anyway, the losing rights of felons depend on where they live in since the laws are various among states. However, there are still some general losses of rights that exist almost all the states.
What Rights Do Felons Lose?
- First of all, it is impossible not to mention the right to travel abroad. Any convicted felon is likely to be on the edge of denying admission of other countries and face some certain travel restrictions even though he is legally allowed to have a passport.
- Moreover, there are also some bars preventing the felons from owning any gun, especially those who are convicted of a violent crime and any crime which involves guns. The seller can know that because before selling the guns to you, he or she always checks your background.
- Next rights are related to the employment ones. Having a felony record means you have to face a lot of barriers when applying for a job, especially those which require the professional license such as teachers, lecturers, baby sisters, or any law enforcement agencies. Such positions are allowed to bar convicted felons from taking the job. Besides, a lot of other private companies will check your background prior to hiring you.
- Another rights worth putting into consideration are the rights to have public social benefits. Felons cannot apply for federal or any state grants. It also happens in living in public housing, SSI or any food stamps. Another point is that the felony conviction is a red flag in almost all cases for any judge in order to award custody to other parents.
These are some general and updated news about the voting rights of convicted felons. Although this topic is still a debate, updating the information is really necessary, especially information about the laws of the state where the felons live.