Prisoner voting

After a decade of argument, the European court of human rights #ECHR has decided that the 10 prisoners denied the vote should not be paid compensation for the infringement of their article 3 rights to vote.  It did decide that the government is in breach of the convention.

This is a debate which has generated a lot of heat and a great deal of passion.  The prime minister David Cameron said that prisoners ‘damn well shouldn’t [get the vote]’ and previously was quoted as saying the idea made him feel ‘physically sick.’  It was a topic which came up with the local group’s meeting with John Glen the MP for Salisbury.

It seems that politicians have difficulty in understanding what prison is for.  Someone commits a crime and the court decides that a custodial sentence is appropriate.  There are two purposes to this: to deprive the person of their liberty as a mark of disapproval by society for the crime they have committed.  Then we want to rehabilitate them into society.  Unless we want everyone to go to prison for ever, then with a very few exceptions, they will be back into society.

It therefore makes sense as part of this second purpose that prisoners be allowed the vote.  In a small way it would help facilitate their entry into society.

See the South Region site of Amnesty International


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