Is suffrage a universal right which cannot be denied, or should criminals have to work to get some of their rights back?by Shami Chakrabarti, Dominic Raab / August 20, 2014 / Leave a comment
Published in September issue of Prospect Magazine
Voting is a basic right. In a democracy, votes cannot be a luxury granted to us by politicians for good behaviour. Universal suffrage is fundamental to the legitimacy of state power.
Why do we put people in prison? For public safety, of course—to keep dangerous people from causing more harm. We hope to deter crimes and punish those who have committed one. Most of us also think prison should serve as a place for rehabilitation, so that people leave less likely to break the law again.