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Locked Out: Felon Disenfranchisement and American Democracy (Studies in Crime and Public Policy)

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195149326
ISBN-10: 0195149327
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"Mr. Manza and Mr. Uggen... wade into one of the most contested empirical debates in political science: How many (if any) recent American elections would have gone differently if all former felons had been allowed to vote?"--The Chronicle of Higher Education


"Few issues undermine the legitimacy of democratic systems more than the disenfranchisement of ex-felons from voting. In Locked Out, Manza and Uggen examine the legal, political, and social-historical context of this peculiarly American dilemma. The book is masterful, a must-read for those who seek answers to why and how felon disenfranchisement exists and what can be done to hasten its demise."--Robert J. Sampson, co-author of Shared Beginnings, Divergent Lives


"This is an important book. Energetically researched and clearly written, Locked Out is a major contribution to public debate about the vexed issue of felon disfranchisement. It sheds light into one of the dark corners of American political life, suggesting that the exclusion of millions of felons and ex-felons remains a significant shortcoming of our democracy."--Alex Keyssar, author of Right to Vote


"Locked Out's carefully researched argument for changing our thinking on felon disenfranchisement is also a powerful blueprint for realigning state election laws to match our country's deep democratic faith."--Lani Guinier, co-author of The Miner's Canary


"The United States stands out among all nations in the world for the large numbers of people it incarcerates, and for then stripping them of the right to vote, sometimes for life. In this brilliant and timely book Manza and Uggen probe the roots of this phenomenon in American history, especially our racial history, and they show us how felon disenfranchisement continues to distort American democracy, and to influence electoral outcomes."--Frances Fox Piven, author of Why Americans Still Don't Vote, And Why Politicians Want It That Way


About the Author


Jeff Manza is Professor of Sociology at New York University. Christopher Uggen is Distinguished McKnight Professor of Sociology at the University of Minnesota.
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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Crime and Public Policy
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (March 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195149327
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195149326
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.3 x 6.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #404,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The right to vote is mentioned and praised so much in the American press and social studies classes that many people don't know that a whole mess of states don't allow those who have served time to vote. This book is an almost exhaustive look at this issue. It will help many to sharpen their arguments and help others to become active on this social justice issue.
I really imagine that the authors must have read Lani Guinier's "The Miner's Canary." In that book, she posits that issues of race oftentimes flag issues that will or could affect people of all ethnicities. She uses an analogy to suggest how anti-racist activism can be done without scaring those who would dismiss matters as Black-only. The growing activism around fighting the death penalty is one movement that speaks of racial oppression, but also shows how everyone could be affected. The authors here speak about how disenfranchisement hurts everyone, but they also mention how it has disproportionately hurt African-American males. This book is both a Black text and not a Black text; multiple readerships would find this discussion interesting.
The authors highlight something very important: those who support disenfranchisement usually keep their heads low in maintaining the status quo. Politicians and everyday people may yell about being "tough on crime," but you rarely hear people being out about wanting to prevent ex-convicts from voting. Since it's on the books, they don't have to lift a finger; it's the progressives on the other side that must exert energy on this matter. Remember when Rosie O'Donnell came out on TV and only one Florida legislator would admit to supporting the homophobic ban in adoptions in that state?
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Format: Paperback
This book could be used as a model for how such social science research and writing should be done, excellent research, excellent presentation, footnotes, appendices, logic, arguments. The authors know what they are doing and are obviously committed to both scholarship and justice. There are few issues as important, millions of people are treated badly, end up in prison, disenfranchised, unable to exercise their democratic rights to do something about the conditions of society that affect them and people like them. Circular injustice that affects all of us. The authors have done a great service, we can only hope that many people will read this book and that it will be used in many classrooms. Other books on related subjects:

Alexander, Michelle, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, The New Press, 2010

Blackmon, Douglas A., Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II, Anchor; Reprint edition, 2009

Clear, Todd R., Imprisoning Communities: How Mass Incarceration Makes Disadvantaged Neighborhoods Worse (Studies in Crime and Public Policy), Oxford University Press, USA 2009

Clear, Todd R., The Punishment Imperative: The Rise and Failure of Mass Incarceration in America, NYU Press, 2013

Currie, Elliott, Crime and Punishment in America, Picador; First Owl Book Edition, 1998

Drucker, Ernest, A Plague of Prisons: The Epidemiology of Mass Incarceration in America, The New Press, 2011

Klinkner, Philip A., and Rogers M. Smith, The Unsteady March: The Rise and Decline of Racial Equality in America, University Of Chicago Press, 2002

Loewen, James W.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thank you for writing this excellent work. I have used some of your research to inspire my own work that focuses on helping felons get back on their feet and contribute to society. http://amzn.to/1PdQVuq I hope you continue to work in this field and the more research and analytical evidence we can bring to the table the better we can approach how to change the current legal system to a more beneficial outcome for all.
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If you're looking into how mass incarceration, disenfranchisement, democracy and racial control works, this is a must read for all racial groups.
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