, 7 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
I’ve been working in prisons for five years now & there is not a single person in there who doesn’t deserve the right to vote. To suggest otherwise is to have a myopic, regressive view of who & is not deserving of citizenship.
Any cursory glance at history makes clear that one of the central functions of mass incarceration is that it serves as another insidious tool of voter suppression. This isn’t a matter of opinion, the people who built this system named it outright.
People will always use the most egregious & heinous examples of violence to legitimize the entire social project of prisons. Using the Boston Bomber to ask if people in prison should be allowed to vote only reifies the caricatures of a system that throws millions of people away.
.@jbouie wrote a helpful primer on this a couple weeks ago that’s worth reading for people new to the idea:

I find it difficult to take seriously any person who acknowledges that criminal justice system is “broken” but who then turns around & lifts up that same system as being an effective means of deciding who does & does not get to vote. I don’t think you can have it both ways.
A lot of ppl are bringing up this idea that “if you committed a crime you should lose your rights.” Beyond that being an unnecessarily draconian position, what about all the people who commit crimes who aren’t incarcerated? Are you saying only ppl who commit crimes & are caught?
Because this is central to the question. As I say all the time, criminality is not an objective phenomenon. Who is and is not considered a criminal is a decision made by ppl in positions of power. Any assessment of what rights incarcerated ppl deserve has to take tht into account
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