Michael D. Robinson
GEN 162 American Government
Ms. D. Contech
July 15, 2013
“Ex-con’s should be allowed to vote!” Maybe if they felt like their opinion mattered in the world around them they would be less prone to commit another crime! Some, but not all ex-cons should be allowed to reinstate their voting rights. This should be judged on a case by case basis. Also, it should be based on the magnitude of their crime. At the least, they should attend and complete a special designed program, go through a waiting period, and take a drug-screened testing regularly before they get their privileges restored. In recent years, 23 states have revised their laws to let more onetime criminals take part in this ritual of democracy, and the changes have had a noticeable effect. Most of the people affected by restrictive policies are people who have cleaned up their acts enough to care about being participants in our system of government.
After serving their mandatory sentences, any convict interested in restoring their voting privilege should enroll in a reinstatement program. The program should be based on the individual. The faster the individual complies with regulations, the faster the individual regains their rights. This program consists of community service and restitution fees. Non sexual offenders should also implement a “Scared Straight Program” for the youth. Allowing ex-cons to participate in special programs will help society recognize them as individuals capable of rehabilitation, as well as, help to encourage them to reintegrate into society.
After completing the reinstatement program, offenders should be placed on a waiting list for one year, minimum. The wait should be based on the severity of the crime, similar to that of a probationary period. This period of waiting is mainly a monitoring program to make sure each person stays in compliance with the law before reinstating their rights. Those individuals that show they are an exception to the rule should also be allowed to complete the program early. This will encourage them to do their best. During this period, they have the opportunity to prove that they can become a productive part of society through working, drug screening, and paying taxes.
A random drug test should be performed twice a month from the prison release date throughout the completion of the waiting program. Once the program is totally completed, the drug test should be administered once every three months, or as needed. Failure to comply with the drug screening will result in violation of parole and restart of the program.