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Abstract

This article explores public attitudes toward the disenfranchisement of felons. Using survey research methods -- Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing of 503 randomly selected adults -- the authors posed questions related to the purpose of the criminal justice system, public attitudes about treatment and punishment of felons, and public support for the disenfranchisement of felons. The data is aggregated and sorted based on ethnicity, gender, political affiliation, and education. The data demonstrates that the American public does not support permanent disenfranchisement of convicted felons but that it does support some limitations. The authors first review state laws and legal/political issues implicated, then discuss their research, and finally propose future research focused on different policies within states and invite future scholarship in this area.

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