According to a recent report by The Florida Parole Commission, “the overall three-year recidivism rate based on all released inmates” was 33.1, while the recidivism rate for released prisoners who were given their civil rights back and were allowed to vote stood at 11 percent.
These findings were not generated by a progressive organization such as The Sentencing Project, the ACLU, or the NAACP, but by a state governmental body utilizing exacting scientific methodologies. The inescapable conclusion has to be that allowing formerly incarcerated persons to more fully participate in society will result in a reduction of crime and recidivism.
Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, said the July 1 report from the Parole Commission backs up other studies from around the country that have shown criminals are less likely to commit new crimes if they are integrated back into society.
He said it proves that the recent decision Governor Rick Scott made to deny automatic restoration of civil rights for those exiting prison was purely political and had nothing to do with public safety.
“It’s all window dressing to support an antiquated system of voter suppression,” Simon said, noting that Florida’s ban on granting rights to felons once they leave prison is in the state constitution and has been in place since right after the Civil War.
Many states — dating back to Reconstruction — devised diabolically clever ways to suppress voting by African Americans, and some states continue the practice under various guises to this very day.
Full Article: A Solution to Recidivism: Let Ex-Offenders Vote – Archives.