Prisoners in the Political Thought of Benjamin Constant

face of a prisoner

Benjamin Constant described democracy as government open to participation “by all the citizens, without exception.”^ In many countries, prisoners are allowed to vote and allowed to discuss public issues among themselves and with their friends and family. However, in the U.S., persons convicted of felonies (which encompass wide variety of crimes) are generally deprived of voting rights when imprisoned and when released from prison. Historically, prisoners have had their communications tightly constrained, including their communications about general issues of public importance.

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