"Mass Incarceration Affects us All"

Our committee is a proud member of the Virginia Prison Justice Network and a sponsor of VAPOC (Virginia Prisoner of Conscience).

Listen to the audio blog and take action!  Audio posts are by VAPOC members.  Blog posts are written by prisoners in Virginia.

Every day we get letters from prisoners.  We advocate for their human rights, provide information and address their grievances.  If you'd like to help, let us know!  Contact justicebburg@gmail.com

The statewide Commonwealth poll found strong support across political parties and racial groups for reinstating parole. The idea had the support of:
*75 percent of all Virginians
*86 percent of Democrats
*68 percent of Republicans
*88 percent of Black respondents
*77 p...

Recently VAPOC has been soliciting for family members from amongst the prison population who would like to be the face of the end mass incarceration rally that we are striving to have in Richmond at the beginning of 2018. So far we don't have hardly any volunteer famil...

While working as a law clerk in the Augusta prison law library, I have had the privilege of assisting Rojai Lavar Fentress with fighting for his actual innocence. He has been incarcerated since the age of 15 for over 19 years for a murder that he didn't commit. He rece...

The 13th Amendment states: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude except as punishment for a crime whereof the person shall have been duly convicted shall exist within the United States or any place subject to its jurisdiction." This infamous clause has now fallen...

At the recent conference call that was held on the 12th of November I spoke on Truth-in-Sentencing (TIS) as a tool of mass incarceration and some of the direct and indirect effects on our communities. TIS laws were adopted by the states in 1994 as a part of the plot to...

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The Coalition for Justice is a founding member of the Virginia Prison Justice Network (VAPJN) and a sponsor for VAPOC.

VAPJN is a network of organizations around the state who work for change in the prison system by seeking solutions to the judicial racism that plagues our criminal justice system and by also providing a platform for prisoners to be heard.  For more information on VAPJN, go here.

VAPOC, a prisoner led organization of prisoners and supporters, who seek to end mass incarceration in Virginia by promoting awareness among the incarcerated and those in society by enlightening them in the fields of Prison Justice, Law, Politics, and Community Rebuilding/Reentry, thereby motivating them to become more involved in the struggle for freedom, justice, and equality.  For more information on VAPOC go here.

The CFJ Prison Justice Committee believes that our current retributive justice system focuses on punishment, blame and isolation. Restorative justice focuses on healing and rehabilitation with an understanding that race and class are major factors in mass incarceration.  By allowing prisoners to take responsibility for their actions, they can not only repair harm but can learn how to make responsible choices and prevent future harm.  We need more dialogue, community support, inclusion and involvement.  We do not excuse criminal behavior by any means.  We believe in accountability but we see the need to treat prisoners with respect and allow them their human rights.  Only then, can they truly successfully reintegrate into the larger community.  Our steering committee:  Margaret Breslau, Jennifer Deegan, Kay Kay Goette, Askari Danso, Chanel Burnette, and Hassan Shabbaz.

We must all look in our communities and campuses to see the invisible hands that connect us -- from the prison made furniture at VT, to reintegrating prisoners back into our community in just and responsible ways.

Also, Virginia schools refer more students to law enforcement than other states, and that, nationally, schools refer black and special-needs kids to cops and courts disproportionately, at three times the national rate. The youth to prison pipeline starts here. We have state codes that include life without parole and  our state's 21 Day Rule, whereas an accuser can be charged with perjury and be free but the accused can't get out of prison because the rule prohibits trial judges from reviewing newly discovered evidence if it is presented more than three weeks after sentencing.

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February 7, 2020

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To listen to earlier audio blog posts go to: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sankofaradiocom