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Meet the Researcher - Alicia Grana

MEET THE RESEARCHER LIVE ON APRIL 28‚Äč
Breakout Room: 1

 

Alicia_Grana_150Researcher Name: Alicia Grana
Title of Research: Felony Disenfranchisement and Its Effect on Recidivism
Division Representing: Arts & Humanities
Institution: The College of New Jersey
Institution Location: New Jersey 
Home State: New Jersey
District Number: 12
Advisor/Mentor: Margaret Leigey
Funding Source: N/A

Abstract: 
The purpose of the study is to examine felony disenfranchisement and its effects on recidivism across the globe. The United States is an outlier not only in its amount of incarcerated individuals but also in its practice of depriving returning citizens of the right to vote. Looking at the few countries that do ban its ex-offenders from voting even after their release from prison, Chile has a 50% recidivism rate among its ex-convicts within a three year period. Belgium also has a 50% recidivism rate within a period of two years (Maes & Robert, 2015). The country with the highest rate is the United States at 68% after a period of three years (Yukhnenko, Sridhar, & Fazel, 2019). Regarding the countries that allow ex-offenders to vote even while in prison, Norway has the world's lowest recidivism rate at 20%. Spain's recidivism rate is 30% after three and a half years. Additionally, Canada has a recidivism rate of 35% in a two year period (Yukhnenko, Sridhar, & Fazel, 2019). By stripping returning citizens of their vote, they are permanently segregated from the community. This is noteworthy because civic participation has a negative relationship with recidivism rates (Uggen & Manza, 2004).

Research Experience: 
My work experience involves being an assistant for the Law Office of Ira A. Cohen, more specifically being the initial point of contact for clients and potential clients as well as assisting with client file management and case preparation. Additionally, I have interned with the NJ Office of the Attorney General in the Division of Criminal Justice for the past year and a half. Last Semester, I was with the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor, and the semester before that I was with the Prosecutors Supervision and Training Bureau. My duties included preparing Final Administrative Actions for police recruit appeals, assisting with the New Jersey Law Enforcement Resiliency Training in training over 1,300 law enforcement officers, and analyzing the banking records of entities being investigated with Excel. This upcoming semester, I am interning with the Division of Criminal Justice's COVID-19 Task Force which focuses on prosecuting violations of the governor's orders during the pandemic and negligence by administration at NJ veteran's homes. Regarding community service, I have volunteered at the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen since the Fall of 2019. 

Presentation Experience: 
As a student of The College of New Jersey, I have experience presenting my felony disenfranchisement research in Penology class 2 semesters ago. Additionally, I have presented informational materials for Medicaid Fraud and Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Financial Exploitation that I researched and designed myself for the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor under the NJ Division of Criminal Justice. I also present at the end of every semester my sorority's (Theta Phi Alpha) Assessment Packet. The packet is a template for the chapter's success, including community service and involvement on campus. 

Significance of Research: 
The purpose of the study is to examine felony disenfranchisement and its effects on recidivism across the globe. The United States is an outlier not only in its amount of incarcerated individuals but also in its practice of depriving returning citizens of the right to vote. Looking at the few countries that do ban its ex-offenders from voting even after their release from prison, Chile has a 50% recidivism rate among its ex-convicts within a three year period. Belgium also has a 50% recidivism rate within a period of two years (Maes & Robert, 2015). The country with the highest rate is the United States at 68% after a period of three years (Yukhnenko, Sridhar, & Fazel, 2019). Regarding the countries that allow ex-offenders to vote even while in prison, Norway has the world's lowest recidivism rate at 20%. Spain's recidivism rate is 30% after three and a half years. Additionally, Canada has a recidivism rate of 35% in a two year period (Yukhnenko, Sridhar, & Fazel, 2019). By stripping returning citizens of their vote, they are permanently segregated from the community. This is noteworthy because civic participation has a negative relationship with recidivism rates (Uggen & Manza, 2004).

Uniqueness of Research: 
My research is unique because there is a dearth of studies done on felony disenfranchisement on a global scale and its effects. Felony disenfranchisement creates a permanent criminal underclass which engenders an increase in recidivism. Studying this can lead to a decrease in criminal activity. 

 

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