Closed petition PE2015: Extend the right to vote in Scottish local government and Scottish Parliament elections to all prisoners
Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to extend the right to vote in Scottish local government and Scottish Parliament elections to all prisoners held in Scottish prisons.
Previous action taken
On 12.9.2021 I wrote to Keith Brown MSP (Cabinet Secretary for Justice) about this issue.
By excluding the majority of prisoners from voting at elections, the Government is denying a voice to those who have first-hand experience of the justice system and prison service.
If prisoners continue to be disenfranchised this is a failure in the system of checks and balances on government.
Research shows that prisoners are frequently care experienced, have grown up in poverty and/or have had a family member convicted of a criminal offence.
Furthermore, it has been suggested that as many as 3% of the prison population are ex-service personnel and/or homeless.
Also, many prisoners are identified as having a learning disability, previous head injury and/or mental health difficulties.
There are also people in prison that are innocent because as with any human-run system, there is potential for error.
Scotland and the rest of the UK lag far behind other European countries in its continued disenfranchisement of prisoners.
Prisoner voting rights are essential for rehabilitation.
This petition was considered by the Scottish Parliament