Take away prisoners' right to cast their vote, says MP

PUBLISHED: 12:38 09 February 2007 | UPDATED: 19:56 01 June 2010

JAIL sentences must include the loss of voting rights, says John Hayes, MP for South Holland and the Deepings. I suspect that the victims of crime will find it deeply disturbing that convicted muggers, burglars, murderers and rapists could soon be voting

JAIL sentences must include the loss of voting rights, says John Hayes, MP for South Holland and the Deepings.

"I suspect that the victims of crime will find it deeply disturbing that convicted muggers, burglars, murderers and rapists could soon be voting in local and national elections," he said.

Convicted prisoners could be given the chance to vote under plans being considered by the Government, following a European ruling that it is unfair prisoners cannot vote.

"I am very concerned that the Government has not dismissed this," said Mr Hayes. "A jail sentence, by definition, is a serious punishment and should involve a loss of citizenship rights.

"Most prisoners are serial offenders by the time they end up in jail. Do we really want them to retain their right to vote?

"We certainly must do more to rehabilitate prisoners through improved education and opening up employment opportunities, but giving them political influence sends out the wrong signal.

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