Felony Disenfranchisement News
March 9, 2015
Disenfranchisement News: Minnesota and Maryland Advance Probation and Parole Voting Legislation
Kentucky: Kentucky House passes voting rights bill
Minnesota: Bipartisan bill expands voting rights to people on probation and parole
Maryland: Lawmaker with prior arrest record champions voting rights bill
National: Civil Rights Voting Restoration Act
Books: African American Disenfranchisement
March 3, 2015
State Advocacy Update: Advocacy Campaign Leadership
Addressing Upstream Policies
Unlocking the Vote
State legislatures are in full swing. This year, legislation has been introduced in Kentucky to reclassify certain felony offenses to misdemeanors, eliminating prison as a sentencing option. Lawmakers in Maryland and Minnesota are considering expanding voting rights to persons on felony probation or parole. And advocates in Missouri are working to scale back the state's truth-in-sentencing provision for certain offenses.
February 3, 2015 (The Sentencing Project)
Black Lives Matter: Eliminating Racial Inequity in the Criminal Justice System
A new publication from The Sentencing Project provides a comprehensive review of programs and policies across the nation and identifies a broad range of initiatives that can address racial disparities at all levels of the criminal justice system. Black Lives Matter: Eliminating Racial Inequity in the Criminal Justice System highlights initiatives in more than 20 states designed to address the criminal justice system’s high rate of contact with people of color.
In the wake of the tragedies in Ferguson and other cities, excessive police contact has been identified as a major cause of the disproportionate rate of fatal police encounters for African Americans and Latinos. The report identifies four key features of the criminal justice system that produce racially unequal outcomes, beyond the conditions of socioeconomic inequality that contribute to higher rates of some crimes in marginalized communities, and showcases initiatives to abate these sources of inequity in adult and juvenile justice systems around the country.
January 15, 2015
Virginia: Governor restores voting rights of more than 5,100 formerly incarcerated individuals
Iowa: Task force fails to fix problems with database of ineligible voters
Minnesota: Minnesota Conversations: Felony Voting
Florida: State legislators and advocates propose automatic rights restoration
Kentucky: Bi-partisan support for voting rights bill in General Assembly
International: Nigerian court upholds the right of citizens in prison to vote in all elections
December 9, 2014 (The Sentencing Project)
Statement by The Sentencing Project for Senate Hearing on the State of Human and Civil Rights
The Sentencing Project submitted a statement today for inclusion in the record of a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on “The State of Civil and Human Rights in the United States.”
We commend Chairman Dick Durbin for continuing his examination of the policies and practices that contribute to excessive imprisonment and racial disparities throughout the criminal justice system. In this written statement, we seek to bring attention to the causes of mass incarceration and racial injustice, the failures of mandatory minimum penalties, and the deeply problematic policy of felony disenfranchisement.