Wrongful Convictions

Felony disenfranchisement affects 16% of Mississippi’s black electorate


One out of every 10 adults, who has served a prison sentence after being convicted of a crime, cannot vote in Mississippi, which affects 16% of the black electorate.

“This rate is more than triple the national rate of disenfranchisement,” according to a new report Felony Disenfranchisement in Mississippi by the Mississippi NAACP, One Voice and The Sentencing Project.  “Out of the estimated 218,100 people disenfranchised in the state, 93% are living in the community under probation or parole supervision or have completed their criminal sentence.”

There are 22 crimes that disenfranchise Mississippi residents from voting. To regain his or her voting rights, he or she can apply for a pardon, apply for an Executive Order Restoring Civil Rights from the governor or have the state legislature pass a bill of suffrage.

Following the Civil War, a number of Southern states tailored their disenfranchisement policies with the intent of disenfranchising black men who had recently gained the right to vote.

The report recommends notifying individuals at sentencing about the loss of voting rights and how to regain them after he or she completes his or her sentence.


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