Resource Information Help for the Disadvantaged

Fighting to reverse the trend of mass incarceration and correcting sentencing bias and injustices that remain uncorrected in Virginia." -- Lillie Branch-Kennedy, Founder/Executive Director Resource Information Help for the Disadvantaged & Disenfranchised (RIHD)


Jun 20, 2012 | by admin

2012-2013 Legislation Advocacy Update.
“If we are to make a difference, we must do something different –Dr. Wendell Hylton

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Dear Prisoner Families, Friends and Allies,
2012 Virginia General Assembly ended during April with many of proposed criminal justice reform legislation not making out of sub and regular committees. Still the fight for “fair and commonsense” laws that heal families and restore communities continues.
Since the Community Restoration Campaign, has asked prisoner families, friends, allies to reached out to their district state senator and district state house delegate, to voice their disappointment in their failure to pass “fair and commonsense” legislation that would reduce recidivism, reduce re-incarceration and increase successful reentry. Proposed legislation supported Community Restoration Campaign coalition.
If you have communicated the following with your district state legislation, we would like to hear about it through the Campaign “POST” or email
If you have not communicated, there is still time. Listed below are a few talking points.
1. Knowledge empowers support. Know the below proposed legislation/bills.
2012 – 2013 Legislative Focus
Example: Bill number HB111, SB222
HB – House Bill SB – Senate Bill HJ or SJ – Study
Year Bill was last introduced (2007)

SB 796 (2011) Prisoner Literacy, Education, Therapeutic, vocational rehabilitation with additional “earned” sentence credit (new law)

20SENTENCE.docHJ122 (2012) Parole Reinstituted (65%) Study: required literacy, education, therapeutic, Vocational rehabilitation.

Earned Second Chance Provision Volunteer Tax Credit to pay for SB 796 increase literacy, education, therapeutic and vocational rehabilitation.

HB1632 (2011)Expansion of TANF for former Drug Conviction felons – additional eligibility programs

Restoration of Voting and Civil & Voting Rights (Constitutional amendment (first resolution)
Parole Board:  Non-legislative Agenda
Fair and Consistent Parole board hearing decisions for estimated 5,000 parole eligible Virginia prisoners. (Old law)

2. Understand how legislation/bills are passed:

3. Many of the state legislators will say that they aren’t on the committees for the below legislation. That’s just a political cop-out! At the end of the day, when a bill makes it out of Committee, it later goes for a FULL vote! To learn more on how bills are passed in Virginia:

4. Call, email, write, meet with your district state legislators as soon as possible. Request that your district state legislators review the legislation, support the Community Restoration Campaign coalition and its efforts to move forward the below bills. It is very important that you let your district state legislators know that you are a concerned, that you are willing to work with them towards a fair and commonsense bill that doesn’t jeopardize the safety of your community and Virginians. In a pleasant way, inform your legislators that future votes will be based upon their voting record and concern for the community they pledge to serve.

Ask your district state legislator to patron/sponsored or co-patron/co-sponsor any/all of the below legislation during the 2013 General Assembly? Let them know that you, your family and community will be attending hearings during the 2013 General Assembly? That you are willing to work with them to better the proposed legislation/bills.

5. Don’t forget to share your experiences through the flip camera campaign (here at the Campaign site), Campaign Blog POST, email, letter to:

REMINDER: To register at the Campaign site “PLEDGE” –  GOAL:  100,000

As always, Peace and Blessings.

Lillie Branch-Kennedy (Ms. K)
Executive Director
Resource Information Help for the Disadvantaged (RIHD)
PO Box 55 – Highland Springs – Virginia 23075

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” —Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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