In the UK there is a growing debate as to the right to vote for criminals who are in prison. I'd like to open up the debate not just to this right but all possible rights.
Some are undefendable, if you imprison someone you must give them food, maybe only at a minimal standard (bread and water, jam on Sundays), still no matter what you couldn't defend the claim that criminals do not have the right to food.
And there are rights that should and are rightly deprived from criminal prisoners the right to go where you like (within reason, you don't have a right to go breaking and entering into other peoples property) for one as taking that right away is their punishment
And there are a whole bunch of rights that are debatable, a right to visitors, a right to vote, a right to health care, a right to entertainment, etc.. that could be taken away or not depending on where you stand.
I'm not sure where I stand on some issues but the ones below I'm sort of sure about
For voting, I feel that if you've chosen not to live by rules of the society then you shouldn't be able to have a say in changing those rules. It would be like saying I'm not going to school but I want to vote for prom queen, you have to earn the right to vote by being a part of the system.
For health care I believe prisoners have a right to a level of health care that any other person is. If you start saying murderers cant have cancer treatments, because they're a murderer, then what treatments should we prevent paedophiles having, how about drug addicts, car thieves, fraudsters, the drunk and disorderly? you draw the line somewhere and all of a sudden you could be condemning people to die slowly and painfully of something curable because they made a mistake as a young adult.
The right to entertainment, I think you can have your choice of religious or philosophical books but everything else; TV, the internet, movies, magazines, the works of Shakespeare, etc. should be restricted. So mind numbing, passive, stuff should be banned (TV and movies), anything risqué or provides uncensored views or communication with the outside world should be banned (internet, newspapers), Fiction should be approved texts and on the whole educational, Non-Fiction should have a purpose also. Toys and games maybe sometimes but it should be to learn how to interact not just to pass the time, so chess and monopoly would be acceptable and snakes and ladders would be a no. However active and educational things, a pen-pal, exercise and things that can be provided effectively free without a danger to anyone.
Where do you guys and girls stand?