Senate Bill 573 is headed to the governor’s office for a signature. It will allow minors convicted as adults certain things, which the Human Rights for Kids organization said is needed to protect kids in the justice system.
These protections include:
– Allowing kids serving lifetime parole to be discharged after 5 years
– Requiring the Department of Corrections to give kids access to the same educational resources adults get while imprisoned.
– Allowing all formerly incarcerated children the right to vote after they finish their sentence and parole.
“I understand why people sometimes feel that if you did a crime, you shouldn’t necessarily have your right to vote restored,” said bill sponsor, State Senator Greg Leding for District 4. “But we’re talking about people who committed these crimes as minors. They did their time, they got out.”
Currently, Arkansas law states formerly convicted adults can already reinstate their voting rights after their sentence and parole is complete.