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National Civic Summit - University Of Minnestoa - Chris Uggen


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National Civic Summit - University Of Minnestoa - Chris Uggen

  1. 1. the price and promise of citizenship: felon disenfranchisement and american democracy christopher uggen university of minnesota 07/22/09
  2. 2. an nsf/soros project with jeff manza <ul><li>Research and methods </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scope/impact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Origins </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meaning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Crime </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public opinion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The policy choice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Toward a national standard? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minnesota bill to restore vote to non-incarcerated felons </li></ul></ul>07/22/09
  3. 3. I. rising numbers since the 1970s 07/22/09
  4. 4. disenfranchisement in Minnesota
  5. 5. diverse u.s. laws <ul><li>No restrictions (2 ): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maine, Vermont </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Inmates only (14 + DC) : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts*, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Inmates, Parolees (4): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>California, Colorado, Connecticut*, New York </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Inmates, Parolees, Probationers (17): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas*, Maryland*, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico*, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Inmates, Parolees, Probationers, Some or all Ex-felons (13) : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alabama, Arizona*, Delaware*, Florida* , Iowa *, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska *, Nevada*, Tennessee*, Virginia, Washington*, Wyoming </li></ul></ul>07/22/09
  6. 6. 5.3 million people (2004 estimates) 07/22/09
  7. 7. about 1 in 4 disenfranchised Minnesotans are incarcerated (2007)
  8. 8. II. US origins ( American Journal of Sociology 2003, with Behrens and Manza) <ul><li>Old idea, but U.S. is Exceptional </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most restrictive felon voting laws </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Greatest rate and number of citizens affected </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why Race ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>African American vote dilution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Civil War and Reconstruction timing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legal evidence ( Hunter v. Underwood 1985) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>History of (non-felon) disenfranchisement </li></ul></ul>07/22/09
  9. 9. hazard plots for the passage of restrictive and liberal felon disenfranchisement laws, 1850-2002 07/22/09
  10. 10. overall vote dilution 07/22/09
  11. 11. as percentage of VAP 07/22/09
  12. 12. as percentage of African American VAP 07/22/09
  13. 13. disenfranchisement rate as percentage of MN voting age population by race
  14. 14. III. meaning - political life of felons chapter in Imprisoning America , with Manza 2004 <ul><li>General survey: Youth Development Study </li></ul><ul><li>Those who experience criminal sanctions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>… have lower turnout , due mostly to differences in education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… are less trusting of the government and express lower levels of political efficacy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… may be political independents </li></ul></ul>07/22/09
  15. 15. political trust and efficacy 07/22/09
  16. 16. Dylan - illogic <ul><li>What is the fear that someone who has committed a felony would actually have a voice?… we’re going to have some organized crime guy running for office, and we’re all going to get behind him?...They have the expectation that you’re going to reintegrate back into society, become a functioning, contributing member of society. But yet you’re not allowed to have a say-so… which again makes no sense. The whole principle of our legal system is you pay your debt. Debt’s done, you move on. </li></ul>07/22/09
  17. 17. Paul – taxation & voice <ul><li>I have no right to vote on how my taxes is going to be spent or used, which I have to pay whether I’m a felon or not. … I’m not saying give back gun rights or anything like that … But giving back voting rights is another way to make a person feel part of that community… when they [say], ‘What are you going to give back to the community for this and for that?’ I’m like well, hey, community doesn’t want a damn thing to do with me. </li></ul>07/22/09
  18. 18. Peter – a racial thing <ul><li>I think that they just want less blacks to vote, you know what I’m saying? ‘Cause 90% of people’s that’s in jail, they’s black anyway, or on probation or whatever…. Less black people to vote, you know? … When less of us vote, that’s more for the other races to vote… We the most people that’s overcrowding the jails so that’s why I think it’s a racial thing towards us… I mean, it’s a white world… </li></ul>07/22/09
  19. 19. IV. might voting affect crime? <ul><li>Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, 2005 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ research shows that ex-offenders who vote are less likely to re-offend.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>National Review’s Peter Kirsanow </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ the problem with Vilsack’s claim is that there is absolutely no research to support it. Not one longitudinal study exists showing the effects of the restoration of voting rights on crime rates or recidivism.” </li></ul></ul>07/22/09
  20. 20. evidence <ul><li>participation and stakeholding </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Practicing citizenship might help reinforce identity as a law-abiding citizen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Skepticism </li></ul></ul><ul><li>qualitative interviews, plus 3 correlational studies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(a) Minnesota general population </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(b) Minnesota ex-felons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(c) Oregon probation & parole </li></ul></ul>07/22/09
  21. 21. a. general population (YDS) (with Manza; Columbia Human Rights Law Review 2004b ) 07/22/09
  22. 22. b. minnesota ex-prisoners <ul><li>Match MN voting and crime records </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What percentage voted? [minimum of 17-20%] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recidivism: voters and non-voters [7% difference] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recidivism with time-varying voting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Much lower recidivism for voters in the previous biennial election than for non-voters, net of age, marriage , race, gender, offense, sentence length, property ownership… </li></ul></ul></ul>07/22/09
  23. 23. c. Oregon: voting probationers and parolees have significantly lower recidivism rates 07/22/09
  24. 24. V. does the public support felon voting bans? ( Public Opinion Quarterly 2004, with Manza and Clem Brooks) <ul><li>Harris Poll </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Monthly omnibus telephone survey, July 18-22, 2002 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>National sample of 1000 adults </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Survey experiments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Randomly split into fourths </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Varied wording and offense </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tested for “non-attitudes” </li></ul></ul>07/22/09
  25. 25. The public supports voting for ex-felons, probationers, and parolees, but not prisoners 07/22/09
  26. 26. framing effects 07/22/09
  27. 27. provisional answers to 5 questions <ul><li>I. Impact ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Yes, but only in very close elections in states with very strict laws </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Parties can ignore preferences of 5 million poor </li></ul></ul><ul><li>II. Origins ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ancient practice, tied to racial conflict in U.S. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>III. Do felons care about voting ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Yes, and they believe restrictions are too broad </li></ul></ul><ul><li>IV. Is voting linked to crime? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Yes , it is correlated; it may reinforce an identity as a law abiding citizen </li></ul></ul><ul><li>V. Does the public support strict felon voting laws ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No. Most only want inmates banned </li></ul></ul>07/22/09
  28. 28. voting and change <ul><li>Iowa </li></ul><ul><ul><li>online/cutest ever </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Florida </li></ul><ul><ul><li>expert testimony/manson </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Minnesota </li></ul><ul><ul><li>legislative testimony/treason </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Washington </li></ul><ul><ul><li>clever application/control </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tennessee, Oregon </li></ul><ul><ul><li>real experts/dialogue </li></ul></ul>07/22/09
  29. 29. extending the vote to non-incarcerated felons (Uggen & Inderbitzin 2009) <ul><li>extend democracy </li></ul><ul><li>reduce racial disparities in access to the ballot box </li></ul><ul><li>enhance public safety </li></ul><ul><li>respond to public sentiment </li></ul><ul><li>accord with international standards and practices </li></ul><ul><li>Serve reintegrative goals of community corrections – through participating as stakeholders in their communities </li></ul>07/22/09
  30. 30. citizens, felons, and social choices 07/22/09
  31. 31. supplemental materials 07/22/09
  32. 32. 07/22/09
  33. 33. poll wording <ul><li>There has been some discussion recently about the right to vote in this country. Some feel that people convicted of a crime who are in prison should have the right to vote. What about you? Do you think people in prison should have the right to vote? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>… who have been released from prison on parole and are living in the community… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>who are sentenced to probation (but not prison) and are living in the community …(Or haven’t you thought much about this?) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Now how about people convicted of a crime who have served their entire sentence, and are now living in the community. Do you think they should have the right to vote? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ … convicted of the illegal trading of stocks … ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ … convicted of a violent crime … ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ … convicted of a sex offense … ” </li></ul></ul>07/22/09
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  36. 36. 07/22/09