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Being A Ex Felon In America Essay

2143 words - 9 pages

Being an Ex-felon in America
Jay Wainwright
Axia College of University of Phoenix

Being an Ex-felon in America
There are many people in society who are still being treated unfairly. There is still a major disconnect from mainstream society and ex-felons. There are many people with opinions on how to help the ex-convict to become a productive member of society, except for the voice or better said by the rhetoric of the ex-felon, the one who has paid his or, her debt to society by doing harsh and terrible prison time. Yes, ex means nothing when it comes to a person from a criminal past. Everyone has already heard the rhetoric ...view middle of the document...

The opportunity most of society has to be able to contribute to the election of a state official is disregarded in some states. Steinacker (2003) states that, “most states have some restriction on the right of convicted felons to vote.” For example, look at the illustration below from Steinacker (2003)...
Figure [ 1 ]. States of Disenfranchisement.

Losing the right to vote as a result of a felony conviction and losing the right to hold public office as a result of that conviction are inextricably linked. Consequently, in order to understand the policies and implications of losing the right to hold public office, both aspects of felony disenfranchisement laws must be addressed (Steinacker, 2003). This means that the laws of disenfranchisement put in place should be scrutinized very thoroughly for, one to get the full understanding of how the two are both united. One losing his or, her right to vote is like losing one’s freedom of speech on paper. The voice of the ex-felon goes unheard for a period in some states as a result of a criminal mistake from one’s “past.” When is one forgiving for the mistakes that were committed in the past? People of color have been wondering about this question for decades and still there is no answer from society.
Ex-felons are already treated unfairly in society as a whole; there is no need for the government to turn the other cheek too. Bontrager, Bales and Chiricos (2005) stated, “A host of informal exclusions associated with felony conviction, beyond those specified in law, make a return to conventional life more difficult (Para. 1).” In America there is a lack of tools for the ex-felon to use to become a productive member of society. There is not enough education for ex-felons on the inside or the outside of the prison system. Everything is not about the education or the programs it is mainly about the laws that really have no effect on helping ex-felons get back to being a productive member of society. Bureau of Justice Statistics (1997) states that, “White, black, and Hispanic male inmates ages 20 through 39 markedly less educated than their counterparts in the general population.”
Figure 2. Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities.
Educational attainment of males, ages 20 through 39, by race Hispanic origin, for State prison inmates and the general population.Percent of males ages 20 through 39 by race Hispanic origin |
| White | Black | Hispanic |
Education attainment | General Population | State prison inmates | General Population | State prison inmates | General population | State prison inmates |
Eighth grade or less | 4.3% | 9.9% | 2.3% | 9.9% | 20.9% | 24.1% |
Some high school | 9.6 | 17.8 | 13.3 | 34.0 | 20.4 | 27.7 |
High school diploma | 32.1 | 61.0 | 40.5 | 47.9 | 27.0 | 41.6 |
Postsecondary or some college | 30.7 | 9.3 | 32.4 | 7.1 | 22.8 | 5.3 |
College graduate or more | 23.4 | 1.9 | 11.5 | 1.1 | 8.9 | 1.4 |
Sources: BJS, Survey of...

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