BLACK VOICES
06/30/2014 05:34 pm ET Updated Jun 30, 2014

The Reason Why 'Ex-Convict' And 'Ex-Felon' Are Considered Unfair Labels

Daryl Atkinson spent a little more than three years in jail, and in his ample time as a free man he has earned both a bachelor's degree and a law degree. But Atkinson, like many others with similar experiences, is still labeled in society as an "ex-felon," something he wants to change during a taping of HuffPost Live on Friday.

"People in the formerly incarcerated community, we tend to shun terms like ex-felon, ex-offender, ex-convict because they are labels that really describe conduct, not who we are as people," Atkinson said. "We're more than the sum total of some of our worst mistakes. We are fathers, we are husbands, we are community members."

Atkinson told HuffPost Live host Josh Zepps of the societal limitations placed on many formerly incarcerated folks in today's world. Despite having two degrees, Atkinson is still not allowed to vote in his home state of Alabama, where the law says anyone convicted of a felony is barred from voting for life.

Watch full clip above, and catch the rest of the HuffPost Live conversation here.

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