Disenfranchisement of Ex-Felons Change and Advocacy

Advocacy can be considered as one of the fastest ways towards social changes. The exclusion of the ex-felons from the voting process is based on the idea that people who committed felonies, took part in the rebellion arrangement, or participated in such kind of activities cannot have a legal right to contribute to the election process. However, it should be stated that many people argue the significance of such rule as it contradicts the social rehabilitation process. The major purpose of this paper is to highlight the difference in understanding the distinction between change and advocacy perspective related to the disenfranchisement of ex-felons.

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People who found guilty for the felony crime commitment automatically lose their right to vote and be a jury. With the probation period or even the release from the prison, they do not restore the fundamental rights. The process of regaining the right to vote may be rather demanding and takes a lot of time and effort (Miller & Spillane, 2012, p. 403). The understanding that the system does not achieve the best results is the reason for the advocacy, which is considered to be the essential element in the creation of social changes (London, 2010, p. 224). Advocacy occurs when there is a need for social intervention and changes to improve the life condition of people grouped by certain criteria.

The human rights based on the responsibility and ability to make choices is the central topic in the American Constitution (Katzenstein, Ibrahim & Rubin, 2010, p. 1035). The fact that the person committed a serious crime separates the individual from the society by the right restriction. Some people find the disenfranchisement of ex-felons rooted in social discrimination. The differences in the opinions lead to the misunderstanding, as one side of the conflict is sure that the right for vote should not discriminate criminals on the base of race; however, the other side states that elimination from the voting process should be seen as a punishment for the immoral activity (Re, 2012, p. 1585).

However, the evident cases proof that the constitutional idea of disenfranchisement contributed to the issue of discrimination of African-Americans (Ewald, 2009, p. 131). The social cleavage concerning the stated above question is essential for the social development as nothing changes without struggling. According to the recent researches, there is the connection between the absence of the right to vote and the health disparities (Purtle, 2013, p. 632).

One of the pivotal issues is that ex-felons face challenges while integrating into the society that can cause depression and mental disorders. The contentious question demands a new solution; although, the advocacy takes place, one should not forget that this is not enough to mace social changes.

In conclusion, it should be stated that the issue concerning the difference in understanding the distinction between change and advocacy perspective related to the disenfranchisement of ex-felons seems to be very controversial. The question whether the ex-felons have the right to vote is one of the most argued and discussed. Although people have committed serious crimes, the fundamental goal of the jurisdiction system is not to punish but to rehabilitate. It should be stressed that a question arises, is it possible to nurture the ex-felons by restricting their right and reminding them every time that they are criminals and cannot be a part of the modern society.


Ewald, A. (2009). Criminal disenfranchisement in an international perspective. Cambridge, U. K.: Cambridge University Press. Web.

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Katzenstein, M., Ibrahim, L., & Rubin, K. (2010). The dark side of American liberalism and felony disenfranchisement. Perspectives on Politics, 8(4), 1035-1054. Web.

London, M. (2010). Understanding social advocacy. Journal of Management Development, 29(3), 224-245. Web.

Miller, B., & Spillane, J. (2012). Civil death: An examination of ex-felon disenfranchisement and reintegration. Punishment & Society, 14(4), 402-428. Web.

Purtle, J. (2013). Felon Disenfranchisement in the United States: A health equity perspective. Public Health American Journal of Public Health, 103(4), 632-637. Web.

Re, R. (2012). Voting and vice: Criminal disenfranchisement and the reconstruction amendments. The Yale Law Journal, 121(7), 1584-1670. Web.

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