Felons who face various kinds of convictions lose constitutional rights. This is just the first step towards their losses.
The article covers the following points and discusses the question “Does a felon lose constitutional rights?”
- Felons suffer losses
- Civil rights of felons
- Restoration of rights for felons
- Support felons to regain their rights
- Basic Rights of Felons
Felons Suffer Losses
Felons serve a lengthy term in prison, this snatches away their freedom which depends upon the number of years’ felons serve in prison. Basic freedom is important for any individual, felons lose this freedom while they face separation from their family and friends.
If felons become bankrupt, they lose financial stability in the process of bankruptcy. Felons also lose their self-respect and reputation while they are in prison. Felons have a strong belief that they lose all rights along with basic financial and emotional support from their loved ones.
Civil Rights of Felons
Felons get collective civil rights when they are free citizens. These rights get started in the “Bill of Rights”.
- Freedom of Speech
- Right to Bear Arms
- Right to a speedy trial
Felons face convictions for their felony, they lose certain rights or face restrictions. The rights felons lose include the right to vote, the right to hold public office, the right to serve as a jury member, and the right to possess firearms. Felons lose basic civil rights because of their criminal record. In the Greek and Roman societies, felons facing convictions cannot vote in the elections. This view has rooted in the ancient Roman and Greek societies.
Felons cannot own properties in their name and cannot enter a contract in Europe. When the British came to the US, they enforced these restrictions in the US to establish their rule. The interesting part is some of these restrictions are still part of the US constitution. Felons suffer the loss of rights because, in the US, crimes against individuals refer to harming society as a whole. Laws ensure society gets protection against crime.
Restoration of Rights for Felons
Felons require basic rights upon their release to settle in society. They must prove themselves innocent to restore these rights amicably. Felons live under disbelief which makes them think all rights cannot be restored and they do not have the basic self-confidence to live in society again.
The state allows a specific process to regain the rights of felons, there is no strategy to counter the disbelief. Felons also lose the opportunity to get public housing and social benefits from the country. Felons lose many things such as the self-respect and support of their family and friends while serving a term in prison.
Few rights are restored for felons upon their release which helps them restart their lives easily. Felons must work in their desired job to actively regain rights. Felons can seek advice from legal counsel to clear their records which plays a critical role in regaining these rights.
Support Felons to Regain Their Rights
Families and friends build an excellent support network for felons to motivate them to regain their rights. These rights were lost during the conviction of the felons. It helps re-establishing their lives and to settle down with integrity and dignity in society.
Basic Rights of Felons
1 Right to Bear Arms
Felons lose rights to keep arms with a license after their criminal conviction. When any citizen of the US buys weapons for personal security, detailed background verification checks assist to understand the person’s background. Keeping illegal weapons leads you into legal trouble.
2 Right to Vote
Felons with convictions are debarred from the right to vote while they serve their term in jail, they do not have the basic right to elect someone in the election through voting. This is one of the key civil rights which is snatched away from felons.
3 Right to Travel Abroad
When felons serve their term in prison, they lose the freedom to see the world during their sentence. Felons can only travel abroad if their criminal record comes clean and they obey the laws of the country they are traveling to.
4 Political Rights for Felons
Felons lose the opportunity to serve in public office as a critical member while their conviction. This position is responsible for serving society and a felon proves as a bad reputation for society. This snatches away political rights from felons.
5 Felons are Not eligible for Benefit Programs
Felons do not receive social and financial benefits from the government after their conviction, for eg: felons cannot apply for unemployment benefits while in prison. This leads to no financial support for families of felons.
6 Felons Face Employee Discrimination
Employers do not hire felons easily for specific career opportunities to maintain safety and security for other employees and their customers. It is difficult for felons to seek job opportunities upon their release.
7 Felons Do Not Have Access to Parental Rights
Felons lose access to child custody because of criminal convictions. The court believes a felon is unstable for taking responsibility and providing financial support to their children.
The service term of felons plays a critical role in the loss of rights or regaining rights. Serious convictions do not allow felons to enjoy basic rights like free citizens, though right restoration is possible for felons it is very difficult to restart life after a criminal conviction.
Felons conviction leads to the loss of civil rights. In each state, some basic common rights such as voting rights, service in the jury, traveling to another country, parental rights, and no employment in specific kinds of employment are lost because of a serious criminal conviction.
The basic right of voting snatches away the opportunity to become a jury member in the jurisdiction of the country. Felons can serve as a jury member if they can complete some basic conditions such as hold a clean record and complete their term of probation. This assists them to serve as a juror.
Felons can work as dealers of arms and ammunitions once they have a clean record and pass the basic exam for owning a gun. Felons with serious crimes such as murder, rape, sexual abuse, and child abuse do not allow felons to become dealers of firearms and hold a license.