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Prisoner enfranchisement remains one of the few contested electoral issues in twenty-first-century democracies. It is at the intersection of punishment and representative government. Many jurisdictions remain divided on whether or not prisoners should be allowed access to the franchise. This book investigates the experience of prisoner enfranchisement in the Republic of Ireland. It examines the issue in a comparative context, beginning by locating prisoner enfranchisement in a theoretical framework, exploring the arguments for and against allowing prisoners to vote. Drawing on global developments in jurisprudence and penal policy, it examines the background to, and wider significance of, this change in the law. Using the Irish experience to examine the issue in a wider context, this book argues that the legal position concerning the voting rights of the imprisoned reveals wider historical, political and social influences in the treatment of those confined in penal institutions.
Criminal disenfranchisement-the practice of restricting electoral rights following criminal conviction-is the only surviving electoral restriction of adult, mentally competent citizens in contemporary democracies. Despite the strong devotion to the principle of universal suffrage, criminal offenders are still routinely deprived of active and passive franchise, while the justifications for such limitations remain elusive and incoherent. In Punishment and Citizenship, Milena Tripkovic develops an empirical and normative account of criminal disenfranchisement. Starting from historical precedents of such restrictions and examining the current policies of a number of European countries, Tripkovic argues that while criminal disenfranchisement is considered a form of punishment, it should instead be viewed as a citizenship sanction imposed when a citizen fails to perform their role as a member of a political community. In order to determine the justifications of disenfranchisement, Tripkovic explores various citizenship ideals and examines whether criminal offenders comply with the expectations that are posed before them. After developing a theoretical framework of citizenship duties, Tripkovic concludes that very few criminal offenders fail to satisfy fundamental citizenship conditions and exhaustive voting restrictions cannot ultimately be justified. A comprehensive assessment of criminal disenfranchisement, Punishment and Citizenship offers concrete policy suggestions to determine the limited circumstances under which electoral rights could justifiably be withheld from criminal offenders.
Die Wahl von Barack Obama im November 2008 markierte einen historischen Wendepunkt in den USA: Der erste schwarze Präsident schien für eine postrassistische Gesellschaft und den Triumph der Bürgerrechtsbewegung zu stehen. Doch die Realität in den USA ist eine andere. Obwohl die Rassentrennung, die in den sogenannten Jim-Crow-Gesetzen festgeschrieben war, im Zuge der Bürgerrechtsbewegung abgeschafft wurde, sitzt heute ein unfassbar hoher Anteil der schwarzen Bevölkerung im Gefängnis oder ist lebenslang als kriminell gebrandmarkt. Ein Status, der die Leute zu Bürgern zweiter Klasse macht, indem er sie ihrer grundsätzlichsten Rechte beraubt – ganz ähnlich den explizit rassistischen Diskriminierungen der Jim-Crow-Ära. In ihrem Buch, das in Amerika eine breite Debatte ausgelöst hat, argumentiert Michelle Alexander, dass die USA ihr rassistisches System nach der Bürgerrechtsbewegung nicht abgeschafft, sondern lediglich umgestaltet haben. Da unter dem perfiden Deckmantel des »War on Drugs« überproportional junge männliche Schwarze und ihre Communities kriminalisiert werden, funktioniert das drakonische Strafjustizsystem der USA heute wie das System rassistischer Kontrolle von gestern: ein neues Jim Crow.
The United States leads the world in incarceration, and the United Kingdom is persistently one of the European countries with the highest per capita rates of imprisonment. Yet despite its increasing visibility as a social issue, mass incarceration - and its inconsistency with core democratic ideals - rarely surfaces in contemporary Anglo-American political theory. Democratic Theory and Mass Incarceration seeks to overcome this puzzling disconnect by deepening the dialogue between democratic theory and punishment policy. This collection of original essays initiates a multi-disciplinary discussion among philosophers, political theorists, and criminologists regarding ways in which contemporary democratic theory might begin to think beyond mass incarceration. Rather than viewing punishment as a natural reaction to crime and imprisonment as a sensible outgrowth of this reaction, the volume argues that crime and punishment are institutions that reveal unmet demands for public oversight and democratic influence. Chapters explore theoretical paths towards de-carceration and alternatives to prison, suggest ways in which democratic theory can strengthen recent reform movements, and offer creative alternatives to mass incarceration. Democratic Theory and Mass Incarceration offers guideposts for critical thinking about incarceration, examining ways to rebuild crime control institutions and create a healthier, more just society.
This short report sets out a summary of evidence taken by the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee looking into the issue of voting by convicted prisioners, in advance of the debate taking place on 10 February 2011. Evidence was taken from legal experts, including the former Lord Chancellor, Lord Mackay of Clashfern. The main purpose is to gather expert evidence on how the United Kingdom law in this area relates to the European Convention on Human Rights as interpreted through the binding judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.

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