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Prisoner Re-Entry
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Voting Rights

If a released prisoner secures housing, is eligible for food stamps, and gets financial aid for education, this individual still has to figure out how to vote. The denial of voting rights to ex-prisoners occurs in patchwork fashion across the country.

Thirty-two states disenfranchise felons on parole; twenty-nine states do the same for those on probation. Fourteen states prevent ex-prisoners who have fully served their sentences from voting. In ten states, ex-felons are automatically disenfranchised and have little hope of ever regaining the vote; these include Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Virginia and Wyoming.

Landmark Case Could Restore Felon Voting Rights, from Truthout (US), 2/1/10

WA: State Plans To Appeal Ruling On Felon Vote; from Seattle Times (WA), 1/6/10

WA State: Historic Opportunity For Felony Disenfranchisement; from Justice Works! (WA), 4/1/09

State-By-State Look At Felon Voting Restoration; from (US), 3/23/09

Ex-Felon Voters Foiled By Confused Officials; from (US), 10/8/08

Angry White Republicans Thwart LEGAL Voter Registration in Alabama; from NallForGovernor (AL), 9/19/08

Imprisoned Voters Take Aim at the Presidential Election; from Huffington Post (US), 9/20/08

States Restore Voting Rights for Ex-Convicts; from New York Times (NY), 9/13/08

For Those Once Behind Bars, a Nudge to the Voting Booth; from Washington Post (DC), 8/11/08

Column: The End Of Tough-On-Crime Politics; from The Guardian (UK), 7/29/08

Film: Democracy's Ghosts: How 5.3 Million Americans Have Lost The Right To Vote; from ACLU (US)

What If 5.3 Million More Americans Could Vote? from AlterNet (US), 4/20/08

In Alabama, A Fight To Regain Voting Rights Some Felons Never Lost; from New York Times (NY), 3/2/08

Editorial: Felony Disenfranchisement Aids Republicans; from TruthOut (US), 2/7/08

[Florida] Felons Seek Return Of Rights At Miami Summit; from Miami Herald (FL), 9/9/07

Roadmap Of A Progressive Victory; from AlterNet (US), 4/3/07

Crist Set To Unveil Felons' Rights Plan; from Miami Herald (FL), 4/1/07

Why Can't Felons Vote? from Time Magazine (US), 11/1/06

Barred From The Ballot Box; from Village Voice (NY), 8/25/06

RI To Revisit Felons' Voting Rights (includes state-by state breakdown); from USA Today (US), 6/1/06

Interview: Democracy Behind Bars; from AlterNet (US Web), 4/25/06

New Report: A "Crazy-Quilt" of Tiny Pieces: State and Local Administration of American Criminal Disenfranchisement Laws; from The Sentencing Project, 11/9/05 (PDF Format) -- Studies and Reports Archive

Editorial: Vilsack Takes Moral Road In Felon Voting; from Iowa City Press-Citizen (IA), 6/26/05

Felon Voting Rights Conflict Hits Federal Court; from The New Standard (NY), 6/24/05

March 15, 2005, 109th Congress, 1st Session: HR 1300: Civic Participation and Rehabilitation Act of 2005. Introduced in the House by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) To ensure the Federal voting rights of persons who have been released from incarceration.

February 8, 2005, 109th Congress, 1st Session: HR 663: To Secure The Federal Voting Rights Of Certain Qualified Ex-Offenders Who Have Served Their Sentences. Introduced in the House by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY).

Article: The Ex Factor: Prison-Reform Groups Work To Educate Former Felons On Their Voting Rights; from In These Times Magazine (US), 8/10/04

Op-Ed: Suppress the Vote? from The New York Times, 8/16/04

Related Links:

American Civil Liberties Union: Voting Rights Project

Voting Rights for Ex-Convicts

After Prison: Roadblocks To Reentry - A Report On State Legal Barriers Facing People With Criminal Records; from the Legal Action Resource Center (Also available in PDF Format)

Visit the Legal Action Center's Rentry Resource Links

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Other Re-Entry Resources

After Prison: Roadblocks To Reentry - A Report On State Legal Barriers Facing People With Criminal Records; from the Legal Action Resource Center

Cons Helping Cons: is an "online support community for anyone who has left prison, jail, penitentiary, correctional facility, halfway house, or anyone dealing with the aftermath of a criminal past or criminal record."

Select Prisoner Reentry Publications; from The Urban Institute

Reentry: Helping Former Prisoners Return to Communities (PDF Format) from Making Connections: Neighborhood Transformations

Legal Barriers to Prisoner Reentry in New Jersey

Visit the Legal Action Center's for more Rentry Resources

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