New Felon Disenfranchisement Report, SD Drops Reentry Program That Cuts Recidivism, and States to Execute Mentally DisabledJuly 13th, 2012 by Taylor Walker
REPORT SAYS FELON DISENFRANCHISEMENT 5 TIMES GREATER THAN IN 1976
The Sentencing Project released a new report on felon disenfranchisement in the US, Thursday. According to the report, 5.85 million people were disenfranchised as of 2010–up from 1.17 million in 1976.
You can read the full report here, and you can listen to a discussion on the report and its implications by the executive director of The Sentencing Report, Marc Mauer, along with the University of Minnesota’s Chair of Sociology, Christopher Uggen, and a disenfranchised law student, Desmond Meade. (Yes, it’s long, but it’s worth listening to!) Here are some of the report’s highlights:
--Approximately 2.5 percent of the total U.S. voting age population – 1 of every 40 adults – is disenfranchised due to a current or previous felony conviction.
-Rates of disenfranchisement vary dramatically by state due to broad variations in voting prohibitions. In six states – Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Virginia – more than 7 percent of the adult population is disenfranchised.
-1 of every 13 African Americans of voting age is disenfranchised, a rate more than four times greater than non-African Americans. Nearly 7.7 percent of the adult African American population is disenfranchised compared to 1.8 percent of the non-African American population.
-African American disenfranchisement rates also vary significantly by state. In three states – Florida (23 percent), Kentucky (22 percent), and Virginia (20 percent) – more than one in five African Americans is disenfranchised.
SAN DIEGO PRISONER REENTRY PROGRAM DROPS FELONY RECIDIVISM RATE
The San Diego Prisoner Reentry Program, recently discontinued due to lack of funding, cut non-violent felony recidivism rates by 17%. The program ran for five years and saved an estimated $10M in prisoner costs.
Scoop San Diego has the story. Here’s a clip:
The San Diego Prisoner Reentry Program, authorized under California Senate Bill 618, cut recidivism among non-violent felony offenders by 17 percent, resulting in savings of $10 million over five years, according to a new study released by the SANDAG Criminal Justice Research Division.
The findings from this study’s final report, Improving Reentry for Ex-Offenders in San Diego County, are particularly relevant as local jurisdictions grapple with an influx of ex-offenders being shifted from state oversight to local supervision under state Assembly Bill 109. The population served by the Reentry Program is similar to the population shifted by the public safety realignment.
Under the San Diego Prisoner Reentry Program, which operated from February 2007 through June 2012 (when funding was discontinued), participants received intensive support services to help them with housing, employment, drug treatment, and other needs.
GA AND TX SET TO EXECUTE TWO MENTALLY DISABLED PRISONERS NEXT WEEK
Texas and Georgia each have particularly controversial executions scheduled for next Wednesday–one prisoner with clear evidence of brain damage, and the other declared mentally retarded by a state judge.
The Atlantic’s Andrew Cohen has the story. Here’s how it opens:
Next Wednesday, July 18, reckons to be another banner day in the history of capital punishment in America. Sometime between 6 p.m. and midnight, the state of Texas is scheduled to execute a convicted murderer named Yokamon Hearn, a man who has, since early childhood, shown clear and consistent evidence of brain damage. And at 7 p.m., the state of Georgia plans to execute a convicted murderer named Warren Hill, who years ago was deemed by a veteran state judge to be mentally retarded.
These executions will take place, absent extraordinary Supreme Court or gubernatorial intervention, because federal and state judges at lower levels of our nation’s justice system have perversely interpreted recent United States Supreme Court decisions. Whereas the Justices have tried in the past few years to give men like Hearn and Hill more access to meaningful appellate review, judicial obstructionists down below have refused to apply either the letter or the spirit of the new procedural rules.
In Texas, the perpetually rogue Fifth Circuit, in an opinion dripping with disdain for the justices in Washington, has just refused to apply the precedent established in Martinez v. Ryan, a Supreme Court decision issued in March that sought to expand appellate rights for defendants like Hearn. In Georgia, meanwhile, the state supreme court has refused to designate Hill as mentally retarded, scoffing at the mandate of Atkins v. Virginia, the Supreme Court’s ruling banning the execution of the mentally retarded.
Graph taken from The Sentencing Project.