Prison Radio
Kerry “Shakaboona” Marshall

It has been long established in America that there can be no taxation on citizens without representation, but in Pennsylvania (PA) prisoners pay taxes, but can’t vote.

In the Commonwealth State of Pennsylvania, the PA Department of Revenue and the Pa. Department of Corrections require prisoners to pay a Sales Tax on consumer items of food, cigarettes, clothes, and phone cards purchased from the prisons’ commissary. According to the PA. Dept. of Revenue, if the purchase price is more than $10, 6-percent (6%) state Sales Tax and/or 1-percent (1%) local Sales Tax of each dollar, plus charges listed in its bracket of charges, upon any fractional part of a dollar must be collected from inmates.

Despite incarcerated citizens being required by PA to pay State and Local Sales Taxes, the State does not consider prisoners as a “qualified elector” or “qualified absentee voter,” and effectively deny incarcerated citizens the right to vote in elections. Hence, PA’s incarcerated citizens are being subjected to taxation without representation.

In America, a major component of a democratic government is Universal Suffrage, that is, the right for all citizens to vote. On last account, America’s prisoners are still “citizens” in the truest sense of the word, and as ‘incarcerated citizens’ their federal constitutional right to vote in the country’s elections should not be discriminated against, infringed upon, denied or abridged.

America is a nation that prides itself at being the best democratic government in the world, but such grandiose pronouncements are hypocrisy and mass deception at best, because there can be no democracy in America where incarcerated citizens are denied their right to vote in elections and are disenfranchised due to imprisonment.

Where is the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) when we really need them?

From the Belly of the Beast, at Prison Radio, I am Shakaboona.

Thank you for listening.