Columbus, Georgia (WRBL) Knowing your rights and having your voice be heard is crucial in today’s society. but for an inmate detained inside of a jail cell, it feels like that privilege is lost.
“It’s really important that we not take away people’s rights especially their civil rights like voting which people died for just because people are poor,” says Jill Cartwright, Southerners on New Ground Georgia State Organizer.
According to the Georgia Justice Project, a person convicted of a felony in a Georgia state prison is ineligible to vote. Cartwright says jail detainees still have the right to vote if they have no unpaid court fees, have completed their probation, parole or have a misdemeanor charge.
“For something as being poor and not having enough money to be able to pay bail and so that’s how we know a lot of people that are incarcerated for in Georgia and Columbus,” says Cartwright.
The mission of the meeting is to gain the public’s support on voter education and registration inside the Muscogee County jail.
“In our last event, we did have a lot of people showing up that usually don’t show up to these types of forums,” says Raijeim Douglas, Lead Member.
Having a clear understanding of your voting rights is the goal of the community forum. Douglas and cartwright hope the meeting will get the attention of city leaders.
“We are hoping the sheriff will take the human rights approach to cash bail which is a system that’s been seen as a human rights violation around the world and understand there’s a lot of people that should not be sitting in jail,” says Cartwright.
The community forum is scheduled Monday at the Columbus Public Library at 5:15 p.m.