Thursday, 4 November 2010

"John Hirst defends votes for murderers, rapists, paedophiles... "

Over at:
Cranmer bemoans the fact that prisoners are to be allowed to vote.  The commenters universally share his views and the righteous indignation is palpable.  I suppose we should expect nothing less of an avowedly right wing blog, but it saddens me that people should be so narrow minded.  I added a comment in support of the proposal to give prisoners the vote.  I won't hold my breath for a response!

Text of my comment::
Perhaps I am a lone voice amongst your acolites, but I have to say that I agree with extending the right to vote to those in jail. This surely continues the trend of removing restrictions on universal suffrage. It was not so long ago that women did not have the right to vote. Who are we to declare someone unfit to vote because they have committed a crime? Where to next? No votes for those who are unemployed for over 6 months? No votes for those who cannot read or write? All these are part of our society and surely entitled to have a say in how things are run.

Furthermore, prison is not just about punishment. It is about rehabilitation, and trying to change the habits of recalcitrant offenders. By excluding them from the democratic process we encourage them to think that society is "someone else's problem". If we want criminals to have a social conscience we need to encourage them to feel a part of society.

Give them the vote say I!

No comments:

Post a Comment