A first step, a second chance: public support for restoring rights of individuals with prior convictions
November 10, 2020
SAGE Publishing and International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology recently published an article by Wilder School faculty member Christina Mancini and the Center of Public Policy’s Robyn McDougle and Brittany Keegan.
The article, “A First Step, a Second Chance: Public Support for Restoring Rights of Individuals with Prior Convictions,” uses CPP data to analyze Virginians support for reentry efforts, namely expungement of criminal records, restoration of the right to vote and run for public office, and the restoration of gun rights for those with criminal records.
Notably these are reforms embraced by both a past Democratic presidency and the current Republican administration. Overall, most Virginians support expunging the records of juveniles for minor offenses (87%), but only 40% support restoring rights generally. The greatest level of approval evident for restoring enfranchisement is 74%.
Among supporters of restoration generally, Virginians are less approving of efforts to restore gun rights of ex-felons (22%).
Race, parental status, political ideology, and views about the efficacy of the Commonwealth's justice system are key predictors. Black and Latino Virginians, parents, those with a liberal political orientation, and individuals who have confidence in Virginia's Public Safety system are significantly more likely to support reentry reforms. Read the full article.