"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

Prison overcrowding has become the number one issue as it pertains to prisons in Virginia. Undoubtedly this is because of Truth-In-Sentencing which has resulted in an increase from 18,000 in 1995 to approximately 40,000 present day. This is resulting in cruel and unusu...

I'm confined to a world behind four walls, where nobody See's me and nobody calls, yes I know I'm here.. I live each and everyday to see the other side, often I pray if one in there right mind would trade places with me, they'd see how cold and lonely four walls can be...

A summary from our recent Jailhouse Scholars class on the issue of immigrant prisoners.

Hola y bendiciones a todos los interesados en la comunidad hispana.

Por casi más de 15 años, los Hispanos incluyendo: latinos, latino americanos, sudamericanos, y caribeños han sido...

Truth-in-Sentencing has caused a domino effect of oppression that prisoners and their families are feeling far beyond being incarcerated for extremely long periods of time. The present conditions of Augusta Correctional Center are prime examples of what mass incarcerat...

Before the overcrowding of the facility the food was much better, but now over 1300 prisoners have to be fed, so corners are being cut, and the worst/cheapest food is being served. Also, it does not help that the Food Service Manager, Ms. Puckett, is always striving 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