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Thread: Should prisoners have the vote?

  1. #51

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    Most politicians are lying egotistical cheats. I would rather vote for most prisoners, serving ones at that, than any of the SELF-serving shysters we get landed with every 5 years. (I generalise - there are a few exceptions)

  2. #52
    Decaying old hippie The Relic's Avatar
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    My wife is a social psychologist who spent the early part of her career studying the relationship of individuals to the spaces they occupy. As part of that study she visited many prisons and was able to gauge the pressures put on inmates confined with multiple occupants in cells designed for one, locked in with the smells of piss and shit and subject to a pecking order with the most violent at the top.

    So Ishouldberunning is right, it isn't much fun. Before anyone starts with, "They're there to be punished" schtick, remember the prison officers who have to retain control and the effect creating pressure cooker situations has in creating resentment that can bring about dangerous situations both before and after release. Ultimately, prisoners know they're being punished. For all the talk about TV and pingpong in jails they have scant choice in what they watch, read or do at particular times, and ultimately can't go out of that gate and have a pint, hug their kids, go to the pictures or whatever.

    As regards their right to vote, their families still hold places in communities, and once they are released - and most sentences are short enough that it matters - they will still have personal stakes in how the community to which they have paid their debt is run. Ultimately, once you disenfranchise one sector of society you are leaving an opening in the constitution to deny others based on, say, perceived disability or allegiances unacceptable to the prevailing regime. That's not the way to run a democracy.

    By the way, the various papers my wife's department produced influenced the design and re-design of cells in various parts of Europe, and seem to have contributed to improvements in behaviour in prisons and subsequent reduction in re-offending, particularly in the Netherlands.
    Last edited by The Relic; 08-14-2014 at 02:46 PM.
    The Relic

    A friend says that socialism is dead. Well, I'm a socialist and I'm not dead.

    Richard Dawkins for Pope. Morrissey for Queen.

  3. #53
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    Nobody's suggesting prisoners lose their vote for ever, but just for the time they're inside. It's all part of the deal: do the crime then do the time, with all the restrictions that entails...

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