|"Vote" by Anthony Papa, |
Here's the summary of our argument in support of the petition:
Following the California Criminal Justice Realignment, inmates convicted of non-serious, non-violent, non-sexual offenses will serve their sentence in county jails, rather than in state prisons. The legislative history of AB 109, as well as its language and the practices it directs and encourages, suggest that the legislature intended to use local facilities not merely as a cost-saving measure, but rather as a tool in recidivism reduction through community corrections, reentry and rehabilitative programming. Amici posit that the local setting of jails is an ideal locus for implementing community reintegration goals, and that civic involvement, including enfranchisement, is paramount to these goals. A broad interpretation of the right to vote as including all population in local jails—convicted of non-serious, non-sexual, non-violent offenses, felonies and misdemeanors alike—is fully congruent with these goals. Moreover, enfranchising a broader population, as a result of AB 109, would increase democracy and encourage participation of underserved low-income communities and communities of color in the political and civic process. Finally, Amici rely on empirical research findings to suggest that enfranchisement of all jailed and formerly jailed individuals can positively contribute to recidivism reduction, a socially and economically desirable outcome.
The full brief can be downloaded from Dropbox.