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Should prisoners be allowed to vote?

(100 Posts)
Tinker Thu 07-Apr-05 14:20:55

Just heard a bloke on the radio saying that prisoners lose their right to libery not citizenship.

Had never thought about the issue before.

Any views?

morningpaper Thu 07-Apr-05 14:24:49

Totally agreed with the prisoner. If prison is about rehabilitation into society then prisoners should be able to participate as members of a democratic society by exercising their right to vote.

(Have to rant that I HATE Jeremy Vine on this sort of thing "But should Ian Huntley decide who our Prime Minister is?" and "You killed your landlady who can't vote so you don't deserve to vote yourself." He is so fecking INSULTING to guests, I don't know why anyone would want to go on his programme. How he can be compared to Paxman is beyond me - he is to Paxman what the Daily Mail is to the Independent...)

Tinker Thu 07-Apr-05 14:26:33

Yes, his Ian Huntley comment was pathetic. Glad teh guy answered back. Found him very persuasive.

nailpolish Thu 07-Apr-05 14:27:23

never thought about this before, very interesting. so they dont get to vote at present? who else doesnt get to vote? (apart from under 18's)

morningpaper Thu 07-Apr-05 14:27:41

Yes the ex-prisoner sounded 10 times more convincing and polite than Jeremy Vine.

morningpaper Thu 07-Apr-05 14:29:05

"Sentenced prisoners held in England and Wales' 138 prisons are disqualified from voting in Parliamentary, Local and European elections.

The only other adults who cannot vote are hereditary peers who are members of the House of Lords, foreign nationals, patients detained in psychiatric hospitals as a result of their crimes and those convicted in the previous five years of corrupt or illegal election practices."

DillyDally Thu 07-Apr-05 14:30:43

Fair enough on the corrupt election practices perhaps as am a firm believer of punishments fitting the crime as much as poss

NomDePlume Thu 07-Apr-05 14:31:16

I think they should. Surely if we expect them to be rehabilitated by prison and therefore participate in civilised society again then they should have the right to have a say which way that society goes.

nailpolish Thu 07-Apr-05 14:32:53

so those held under the mental health act? or just psychiatric pts in hospitals who have committed crimes? sorry to bombard with questions

morningpaper Thu 07-Apr-05 14:35:34

Sounds like just the latter, nailpolish (detained as a result of crimes).

nailpolish Thu 07-Apr-05 14:38:42

thanks

i wonder where they draw the line tho, if you have a mental health prob but havent committed a crime you can vote, but if you have committed a crime you cant

can those with a mental health prob vote? sticking my neck out here, dont know much about mental health, am just interested in how why etc

prisoners should vote though, agree. cant believe they are not allowed! its no deterent to committing crime

Tinker Thu 07-Apr-05 14:44:37

I assume anyone with a mental health problem can vote. Only excluded, I imagine, are likely to be prisoners who are in special hospitals - Rampton, Broadmoor, Ashworth etc

JV's crass comments were that since a murderer had effectively taken away someone else's right to vote (by killing them) the prisoner should then lose his right to vote. Sounds a bit eye for and eye to me which is not the point of prison surely?

northerner Thu 07-Apr-05 14:44:42

But in prison would you have access to election information, party political broadcasts etc?

nailpolish Thu 07-Apr-05 14:46:10

northener they have access to every type of media

i still cant believe this is like a deterent to crime! hardly anyone votes these days anyway

Lonelymum Thu 07-Apr-05 14:47:03

Don't want to bring the wrath of Mumsnet down on my head, bt I don't think they should have the right to vote. But having said that, I don't think a lot of prisoners should be in prison at all either.

DillyDally Thu 07-Apr-05 14:48:19

Perhaps there is a cost implication of getting polling booths and the logistics of maintaining a secret ballot in prison
which political party would want to spend money on this when there is so much need elsewhere in the system?

nailpolish Thu 07-Apr-05 14:49:59

can they not vote by post or online then? i think its so in the dark ages voting in person - thats why hardly anyone votes

JoolsToo Thu 07-Apr-05 14:51:11

ABSOLUTELY NOT

that would be criminal

DillyDally Thu 07-Apr-05 14:51:57

my knowledge of prison is limited to porridge but postal votes are subject to fraud, there would still need to be a place to write your vote in secrecy - unless you are in solitary confinement
cant the "screws" open all your mail?
Or am I so not up to speed on incarceration?

nailpolish Thu 07-Apr-05 14:52:40

i think everyone should have a choice of how to vote, if i could do it by post or online i would make more of an effort

nailpolish Thu 07-Apr-05 14:53:46

good point dillydally

very cell block H

ideally i would like to vote by text message!

northerner Thu 07-Apr-05 14:54:59

It amazes me that some people say hardly anyone votes cause you have to do it in person. How long does it take to vote FGS? The polls are open all day.

People not voting really riles me.

<steps off her soapbox>

northerner Thu 07-Apr-05 14:55:40

Nailpolish - you can vote by post btw.

Blossomhill Thu 07-Apr-05 14:56:23

In a nutshelll no I don't think prisoners should be allowed to vote at all. Feel very strongly about this.

nailpolish Thu 07-Apr-05 14:57:08

no, but i mean that is a valid reason people do give to not vote. its just apathy?

OR

some people just cant get there, northerner, i can think of loads

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