We here at Prison Lives Matter Are on a mission to:
We want appropriate political representation.
We believe that prisoners should have the right to vote to express their views, concerns, ideas, etc. regarding laws for effective prison management.
This principle was created in response to the concept of “Civil Death.” The concept has it’s roots in Greek & Roman law and was later adopted by the English. “Civil Death” meant that those who violated the law forfeited the basic rights of citizenship, lost their ability to inherent or own property, and renounced all civil rights. The approach to stripping the civil rights of an offender was passed on to the British colonies and became a part of the legal structure of the civil rights United States. The argument for Civil Death has tended to express their belief that disenfranchisement laws have a legitimate role to play in our society, because individuals who commit criminal offenses have violated the “social contract” and should be barred from participating in politics as measure of the seriousness with which society views their conduct.
We at Prison Lives Matter believe this is a legitimate position in a society with a fair and ethical politic. However, we assert that Amerikkka has forfeited her right to assert their Moral Authority after she used the political process for over 4 centuries to legally discriminate against it’s Black population in every area of society. Enslaved Afrikans weren’t considered citizens! It wasn’t until after the Civil War that the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments guaranteed citizenship rights to it’s Black population. However, after the period known historically as Reconstruction (1865-1877) ended, southern conservatives convened at a number of state constitutional conventions and consolidated the White backlash against Reconstruction and targeted the Black voters. These racists adopted measures as obstacles to voting (i.e. literacy & property tests, poll taxes, grandfather clauses, and felon disenfranchisement). All of these vestiges have been removed accept the felon disenfranchisement laws.
Today we acknowledge that there are disparities in treatment among Blacks at every stage of the criminal Justice process. Yet we’be allowed felon disenfranchisement laws to continue to exist. Huh? Obviously Blacks are disproportionately impacted by these laws. This impedes our access to law makers which contributes to our communities being neglected. One of the consequences is that we prisoners have been subject to draconian prison policies that don’t work at producing productive citizens, but rather men who leave prison feeling more disaffected then they did before their incarceration. We believe that prisoners & ex- felons must have the right to vote and force lawmakers to be accountable to our communities! Until this happens Amerikkka is still bound to it’s racist past.