Should Prisoners In NJ Get Back Voting Rights?

posted by Steve Allan -

New Jersey Democratic lawmakers are pushing a bill that would allow prisoners to vote.  This would make Jersey the third state behind Maine and Vermont to allow this.  You can see the story by clicking here.Remember that Gavin DeGraw song "I don't wanna be anything other than a prison guard's son?"  Full disclosure, that's my background.  My Dad, who I nicknamed "Padre," (my family has no Spanish history, just did it to annoy him when I was taking Spanish in 8th grade and it stuck still well over 20 years later,) has been a Lieutenant Corrections Officer for over 30 years.  He'll be retiring soon to spend more time with us.  We can't wait!For 20+ years of his career, Padre was at a medium - maximum prison.  The worst of the worst went there.  We always joked that the celebrity convicts that you would see kicking off the 6pm local TV newscasts would be going to see Padre.  Remember Richard Reid, The Shoebomber?  Even he was temporarily in the prison where Padre worked.  My Dad has been injured and attacked by prisoners many times over his career.  Many of Padre's coworkers and friends have also been injured in the line of duty.  Many families of first responders will agree how anxious those moments are when your loved one is running late and their return time is uncertain.  My Dad has many stories from his career --- many of which he would never tell our family, because he wouldn't want to worry us.  I'm guilty of being biased on this one.  Do I feel that violent criminals should get their voting rights back to them?  Absolutely not!  If someone has paid their debt to society and is out of prison?  Yes, they paid their debt and should get their voting rights restored.  If someone is on probation and paying their debt, yes they should be able to vote as well.  While many in prisons have had a tough life and some will work hard to pay their society debt, rehabilitate themselves --- there will several who won't.  I personally have no interest in restoring their voting rights.  

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