Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) supports full access to the ballot for all incarcerated or formerly-incarcerated voters.
The voting rights of people who are incarcerated in the United States are extremely limited. Many of the states with the most severe restrictions on the vote are in the South.
Ensuring that all legally eligible people can vote—regardless of how much they make or where they are—is critical to a fair, representative, and strong democracy.
People with past convictions face lifetime barriers to employment, housing, education, driver’s licenses, and other pathways to opportunity. These barriers make it difficult for returning citizens to achieve what we all seek: to support ourselves and our families, lead fulfilling lives, and positively contribute to our communities. Removing obstacles to opportunity will not only allow returning citizens to move forward with their lives, but also improve public safety and economic prosperity across the South.
In 2020, SCSJ published the Umar Muhammad Clean Slate Toolkit, a free resource providing a step-by-step guide to the expunction process. With a typical criminal record expungement costing between $1,500 and $2,000 in court costs and attorney’s fees, the toolkit is designed to help individuals navigate the process independently, making expunctions easier to obtain for people of color and economically underserved populations.