"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

Sadly, there are currently 2.3  incarcerated in this "politically organized body of people" regarded as the "Commonwealth of Virginia," ... are prisoners of war. I refer to us as such because, unbeknowst to the legislation, that is what too many of us have become!
"Sic...

June 14, 2018

Introduction

Every individual, group, or organization that fights "against" oppression and "for" justice must constantly struggle against all external and internal forces that places the completion of their mission in jeopardy. External forces can aptly be described as...

When a prisoner achieves the goal of reforming himself, and he strives to help others to do the same, he is faced with great opposition from the very same ones who are charged with the responsibility of helping him to become a better person while in the Department of C...

On June 1, 2018 I was fired from my position as a law clerk which I've held for over 3 years now here at Augusta. I was told that it was because I was too much of an activist, and that I was using my job as a means to promote activism.

It all seemingly stems from 2 le...

I recently spoke with a prison guard to whom I said, "I really feel for you. You have a hard job. You have to work in a booth where you have to serve two housing units at the same time. Each side has 32 cells with 2 people in each cell for a total of 64 people. That's...

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