Democracy and Criminal Justice

The scope and extent of democratic enfranchisement (i.e. how far the right to vote extends) has long been a fraught issue. In the domain of criminal justice, democratic questions abound: Should convicted criminals get to vote in elections? Should former prisoners reclaim the right to vote upon returning to freedom? How far should democratic decision-making guide rulings in the criminal justice system?

Christopher Bennett works on this topic.

Digital Artefacts

Should there be greater public participation in criminal justice, Christopher Bennett, Festival of Arts and Humanities 2016


Prisoner voting for the final general election before release is a solution that balances concerns about democratic rights’ by Chris Bennett and Daniel Viehoff in Democratic Audit, 7 November 2013.

Sample of academic writings

Christopher Bennett (2016) ‘Why Greater Public Participation?’, in Democratic Theory and Mass Incarceration, eds. A. Dzur, I. Loader, and R. Sparks, Oxford University Press.

Christopher Bennett (2014) ‘Penal Disenfranchisement’, Criminal Law and Philosophy, 10 (3).

Related Learning Opportunities

Taught Modules

Self and Society is a first year module which introduces some broad themes in political philosophy.

Political Philosophy is a second year module focusing on key figures in the history of political thought.

Philosophy of Law is a third year module delving into central debates at the cross-roads of politics, ethics and law.

Workplace Learning is a third year module involving a work placement of 35-70 hours with a local organisation (voluntary or commercial sector) and developing two essays reflecting on philosophically significant aspects of your experience.