"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

May this reach you full of joy and inspiration.  My name is not important, but my message is vital.  I will be speaking with you briefly about the Virginia prison system and a major issue plaguing  its operational fluidity.

First off, prison is an emotionally...

On January 1, 1995 Virginia abolished parole leaving individuals to serve 85% of their sentences, earning little or no good time credit to be released back into their community.  August 11, 1995 I was arrested at the age of 18.  I was sentenced to 35 years.  I have ded...

"Rehabilitate" is defined as being restored to a former capacity, rank, right, or health, but being redeemable is more in line with the goal of incarceration as it describes the aim to recover or rescue by paying a price. The price that a felon has to pay is the debt t...

Regarding prison reform, if there will be no chance of re-instating parole, then there must be a way for the incarcerated to earn more "good-time" credit especially if they demonstrate rehabilitative skills and have a positive institutional adjustment. Also, sentencing...

In my opinion as to the main contributions to the problem of mass incarceration is the excessive sentencing and the fact that there is no parole eligibility in the state of Virginia.  I speak on Virginia because I reside here.  I will not minimize the fact that some br...

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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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June 11, 2020

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