Director of the Prison Reform Trust Juliet Lyon asked whether it was wise for the Government to "flout international law" and ignore the European court's ruling on votes for prisoners.
Ms Lyon said:
People are sent to prison to lose their liberty not their identity.
A 19th-Century penalty of civic death makes no sense in a 21st-Century prison system whose focus is on rehabilitation, resettlement and the prevention of re-offending.
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Thousands of people have linked hands on Westminster Bridge in a show of solidarity - one week after the terror attack in the capital.
PC Keith Palmer, 48, stabbed by Khalid Masood while on duty in the grounds of the Palace of Westminster last Wednesday.
Engineering firm CH2M won the £170 million contract but have pulled out of phase two of the project over alleged conflicts of interest.