Philly Prisons Ramp Up Voter Education For Inmates

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Division of Prisons is stepping up its efforts to teach hundreds of inmates about their proper to vote within the upcoming Might election.

About 70 inmates sat on a cell block inside the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility on State Street Thursday afternoon, listening to a presentation about their proper to forged a poll for the Might sixteenth main.

“We do have a inhabitants right here which might be nonetheless eligible to take part within the election,” says Yolanda Walker-Lockwood, director of the jail’s Workplace of Group & Justice Outreach.

She says inmates who’re detained and awaiting trial, and will not be but serving time for a felony, retain their proper to vote.

Jail officers estimate that as of April twentieth, metropolis jails home about 6650 inmates, seventy eight% of that are pre-trial and/or coping with misdemeanors and subsequently might probably have the suitable to vote.

Walker-Lockwood says the Philadelphia Division of Prisons, as a coverage, educates inmates by way of public service bulletins proven on closed circuit tv. Additionally they ship social staff to cell block to cell block to provide voter registration and absentee poll info to inmates.

“I do a number of of those every week,” says Daybreak Venson-Nave, a social employee within the prisons. She led immediately’s outreach effort.

Reporter: “Do the inmates truly register?”
Venson-Nave: “Greater than you’d assume.”

Walker-Lockwood says the jail registered 410 inmates in time for the Might sixteenth election and settle for voter registrations yr spherical. With regard to candidate info, inmates are on their very own.

“We’re capable of inform them of the workplaces which might be open, however we aren’t capable of talk about the candidates,” says Walker-Lockwood, “most of the inmates purchase the Day by day Information they usually’ll get their info from there.”

Venson-Nave informed inmates that the workplace of District Lawyer, judicial seats, and extra that would influence their lives are up for a vote on Might sixteenth.

To date, it’s unclear whether or not any candidates have reached out to the voters on the within. Both approach, jail officers say, it’s not their job to affect any inmate with regard to voting.

“It’s their selection on whether or not they need to vote,” says Walker-Lockwood, “they don’t have an obligation to try this, however we have now an obligation to ensure they’re conscious of their rights.”

Whereas not one of the inmates attending at the moment’s presentation agreed to talk on tape, in an off-the-cuff ballot…

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