SHOULD prisoners be allowed to vote?

A group of AMs backed the idea last week, and the Argus’ coverage of the story got our readers debating the point, with plenty of people disagreeing with the ministers’ plans.

Former Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood, who used to work as a probation officer, was among those AMs in favour.

Ministers also debated the fairness of the justice system, with Blaenau Gwent AM Alun Davies arguing for its devolution.

In December, a report revealed Wales had the highest rate of imprisonment in western Europe – with 154 of every 100,000 people living in Wales in prison. This was compared with 141 per 100,000 in England.

Although AMs voted to support a motion which included a call for prisoners to be given the vote, the motion was non-binding on the Welsh Government.

And in Westminster, Islwyn MP Chris Evans said prison sentences of up to six months should be scrapped in favour of more rehabilitative work.

Here’s what some of our online readers had to say on both matters:

"Are AMs also working to find a way that people in hospital can vote more easily?"


"Given the suspicion that the link between poverty and crime parallels the likelihood that the poorer vote for socialist leaning parties, one might suspect their motives.

"The good news may be that criminals may also be too bone idle to vote."


"I agree with you, Mr Evans, short sentences do not work, give them longer and no remission.

"Then they might think again, once they are out.

"Prisoners do not fear prison, they know they will be out in a very short time!"


"On this page is an article about a former teacher jailed for sexually abusing a teenage girl with autism.

"And they want to give the likes of him, and the other misfits, the vote.

"I don’t think so do you."

Mab y mynydd

"I don’t think so either so for once, we are in agreement.

"However, I can see the merit of this in cases where prisoners are serving short sentences or are near release.

"Not everyone who serves a sentence is evil or a misfit."

Frigid Frog

"Ridiculous idea. They have rebelled against society so why should they have the opportunity to shape it the way they want?"


"Plenty of issues for WAG (Welsh Assembly Government) to discuss but this is not one of them.

"People are in prison for a serious breach of the law, so why should they have the right to participate in an election when they are serving their sentence?

"I agree with others [about] seeking longer sentences and also don’t see how the system stops scum reoffending.

"This is relevant when you look at drug dealing."


"Most prisoners would vote Labour – that is what this is about.

"Same reason they want clueless 16 year olds to vote.

"People with no money want to take money from the rich.

"But when they get older and make more money, they don’t want to pay more as they feel they earned it.”


"I haven’t got an issue with them voting as they are part of the community as well. But who is going to implement this?

"There [are] not enough prison officers to keep the jails safe as it is, so does this mean the AM’s have a pot of undeclared money to use?

"Labour will obviously benefit from this and it just shows the desperation and length they will go to.

"I think people have had enough of WAG and central government including all parties and want to press the reset button on it all.

"Political parties have had their day and I think it’s high time now it should all be restructured.

"It has never made sense to me how we can have MPs who have no experience or qualifications in their subject however can say what’s best in the NHS, education, [or] home office.

"It also makes no sense they can move from one to the other with little or no experience.

"You wouldn’t do this in business so why is it allowed in the most important roles in the country?

"I find it more and more difficult to explain to children that the men shouting at each other are important and run this country when quite rightly they say they would get told off for shouting.

"The system needs to change."

Sensible option

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