Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Convicted prisoners to get the vote in the UK

. . . after a European Court of Human Rights ruling. Details here.

I am sympathetic with this decision. While some may believe that criminals have always and everywhere at least temporarily removed themselves from full involvement in civic affairs because of their crimes, I disagree. Of course, there is a suspension of their full involvement in civic affairs due to their incarceration. However, if criminals are to be released, then there should be some attempt at helping them become citizens in good standing. Participation in voting is one important facet of this larger project. We should want criminals to believe they have a stake in organized society. If they do not have this view, then it may perhaps make future crime more likely. However, if they believe that they have a stake (or in Hegelian terminology they are "reconciled"), then law-abiding might be better engendered.

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