Punishment and Participation
The literature on most prominently felony disenfranchisement identified a link between the criminal justice system and political participation This finding suggests that the state can potentially negatively impact the participation of citizens. This is a serious issue as participation positively correlates with civic attitudes and recidivism and so can hurt both society and representative democracy. Different authors in separate studies proposed causal mechanisms explaining the relatively low participation of ex-prisoners in the United states through stressing the participation background of ex-felons versus feedback-effects of the criminal justice system. This research has aggregated these proposed explanations into a framework of rational and sociological composition-based and treatment-based explanations and applied it to the Netherlands, a country without felony disenfranchisement, a less extreme prison population and a relative higher turnout than the US. Using semi-structured interviews on the political history and the collective experience of ex-prisoners in the Dutch criminal justice system, this research found composition-based explanations to best explain the electoral activity of the used sample.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen