Voting rights for inmates at HMP La Moye (FOI)
Voting rights for inmates at HMP La Moye (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 23 April 2018.
On 18 January 2017, the States Assembly adopted Public Elections (Amendment No. 7) (Jersey) Law 2017 which came into force on 28 April 2017 and had the effect of allowing prisoners serving a sentence of imprisonment not exceeding four years to vote in public elections. It was said during the debate that there were 27 prisoners at HMP La Moye who would qualify for the franchise (apparently in the district of St Brelade No. 2) as a result of the amendment.
Please supply the following information:
What specific measures have the prison authorities taken to inform prisoners serving prison sentences of not more than four years that the law has changed and that they can now register to vote and cast a vote in the elections for Senator, Deputy and Constable to be held on 16 May 2018?
Please supply any specific literature that the prison authorities produced to help inform these prisoners of their new right to vote.
As the deadline for registering to vote in the May 2018 elections has now passed, how many prisoners of HMP La Moye Prison have registered to vote in St Brelade No. 2 District?
Have those prisoners who have registered to vote (if any) also been informed that an election is to take place on 16 May 2018 and what they have to do if they wish to cast a vote?
Have the prison authorities taken any specific steps to arrange for election candidates to visit the prison for canvassing purposes or to allow candidates for election to submit leaflets or posters to the prison, or any other measures designed to increase awareness and knowledge of the forthcoming elections among prisoners?
There was already good awareness amongst prisoners about the entitlement to vote, following the media coverage after the promulgation of the change in law. “Notices to Prisoners” have been placed in the accommodation wings to inform prisoners about the up and coming elections and the criteria for entitlement to vote. Information supplied by the Judicial Greffe has also been made readily available and this includes application forms to be placed on the electoral register and also to register as a postal voter.
The information contained in the Notices to Prisoners is described above.
Fewer than 10 prisoners have requested application forms to apply for a postal vote. Provision of any further information in relation to registration of voters is exempt under Article 25 (Personal Information) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.
The information in regard to eligibility to vote and how to cast a vote is readily available to all prisoners.
The Prison authorities will ensure that any campaign posters, leaflets and so on, are made available to prisoners. No special arrangement have been made for election candidates to visit the prison for canvassing purposes.
Article 25 Personal information
(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005.
(2) Information is absolutely exempt information if –
(a) it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is not the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005; and
(b) its supply to a member of the public would contravene any of the data protection principles, as defined in that Law.