ACSOL’s Conference Calls

Conference Call Recordings Online
Dial-in number: 1-712-770-8055, Conference Code: 983459


Monthly Meetings | Recordings (5/15 Recording Uploaded)
Emotional Support Group Meetings
ACSOL’s Online EPIC Conference: Empowered People Inspiring Change Sept 17-18, 2021

National

How Thousands of American Laws Keep People ‘Imprisoned’ Long After They’re Released

[politico.com – 12/30/20]

In the run-up to the election in November, there was a pervasive belief that the fate of the nation could hinge on Florida because of its 2018 passage of Amendment 4, which reversed a permanent voting ban for 1.4 million Floridians with felony records. Then, in September, an appellate court ruled that people with felony convictions must pay all their court fines and fees before they are permitted to exercise the franchise.

Activists called the decision an affront to American democracy; the vote, they argued, is the most visible expression of citizenship. Without question, restoring the franchise could change the political landscape, but equating the right to vote with full citizenship hides a much deeper truth. Thousands of laws and regulations make it almost impossible to reintegrate fully into civilian life, trapping formerly incarcerated people in a state of quasi-citizenship that makes it more likely they will be sent back to prison. As a result, even after they have served their sentences, and long after they finish probation or parole, people with felony records are effectively imprisoned, but in their home communities.

Nationwide, 45,000 “collateral consequences” regulate the lives of people with criminal records, dictating where they may work, with whom they may live and how they may spend their time, according to a database of laws, policies and administrative sanctions compiled by the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section. Some of these laws are well-known and hotly debated, such as requirements that people convicted of sex offenses live beyond a certain distance from schools and playgrounds.

In Florida, for instance, the passage of Amendment 4 excluded people convicted of sex offenses from ever having the right to vote.

Whether for narcotics, sex, or murder charges, formerly incarcerated people are locked out of political and economic life. No matter how long ago the offense occurred, the lengths they’ve gone to repay harms they may have caused, or if questions persist about their guilt. Put differently, people with felony records never fully regain their citizenship. This is not an accident, but the direct result of policies we’ve enacted that allow us to treat formerly incarcerated people as if they aren’t citizens at all.

Psychiatrist and sex offender assessment expert Yang Tsung-tsai (楊聰財) said the predisposition to sex offenses is a difficult mental disease to treat and the US policy is to permanently isolate sexually violent predators from society.

Measures being deliberated by officials include removing the maximum involuntary treatment of five years for the criminally insane, and mandating GPS ankle monitors and other surveillance devices for released sex offenders, he said.

Mothers Shield Alliance deputy secretary-general Shan Hsin-ai (單信愛) said she does not know if the government cares more about victims or perpetrators, and urged the nation to consider surveillance and the chemical castration of offenders.

Read the full article

 

We welcome a lively discussion with all view points - keeping in mind...  
  • Your submission will be reviewed by one of our volunteer moderators. Moderating decisions may be subjective.
  • Please keep the tone of your comment civil and courteous. This is a public forum.
  • Please stay on topic - both in terms of the organization in general and this post in particular.
  • Please refrain from general political statements in (dis)favor of one of the major parties or their representatives.
  • Please take personal conversations off this forum.
  • We will not publish any comments advocating for violent or any illegal action.
  • We cannot connect participants privately - feel free to leave your contact info here. You may want to create a new / free, readily available email address.
  • Please refrain from copying and pasting repetitive and lengthy amounts of text.
  • Please do not post in all Caps.
  • If you wish to link to a serious and relevant media article, legitimate advocacy group or other pertinent web site / document, please provide the full link. No abbreviated / obfuscated links.
  • We suggest to compose lengthy comments in a desktop text editor and copy and paste them into the comment form
  • We will not publish any posts containing any names not mentioned in the original article.
  • Please choose a user name that does not contain links to other web sites
  • Please do not solicit funds
  • If you use any abbreviation such as Failure To Register (FTR), the first time you use it please expand it for new people to better understand.
  • All commenters are required to provide a real email address where we can contact them.  It will not be displayed on the site.
  • Please send any input regarding moderation or other website issues to moderator [at] all4consolaws [dot] org
ACSOL, including but not limited to its board members and agents, does not provide legal advice on this website.  In addition, ACSOL warns that those who provide comments on this website may or may not be legal professionals on whose advice one can reasonably rely.  
 
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x
.