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)

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Recent News

Written with Love & Shredded with Malice
The Virginia Department of Corrections' new policy will see all incoming mail (photos included) photocopied for delivery to inmates and the original mail shredded.
Recap and moving forward with Mobile Justice Tour
SB216, which would give parole eligibility for non-violent offenders only who received sentences when juries were not informed of key fact (1995-2000)/ was left on the table in the House for cross-over.
Action Alert: Fix Sentencing Disparities - Pass VA Senate Bill No. 223
HEARING DATE CONFIRMED: Wednesday, January 27 @11:00am @ 11am (1/2 hour after adjournment) Monday, February 1, February 8 @ 8am SHARP The Virginia legislature has the power to fix this mistake by granting resentencing proceedings to the affected parties. We’ve waited long enough. The time to act is now.
HOUSE BILL NO. 1298 Use of discretionary sentencing guidelines.
Anticipated Hearings/meetings: February 1 Monday February 1 or Wednesday, February 3, 11am (1/2 hour after adjournment), House Room C - Let's move HB12980 out of Sub-committee, normally where bills go to die. Be ready, willing and able when RIHD rep email, text and/ or call. Sign up at InMateResource@yahoogroups.com or send text "FIX JUSTICE" to (804) 426-4426.
Duty Calls! TAKE ACTION TODAY & EVERYDAY
RIHD CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM CAMPAIGN THE NEED FOR SENTENCING REFORM AND ESTABLISHMENT OF REMEDIES TO CORRECT INJUSTICES OF THE PAST - FISHBACK V. COMMONWEALTH . 632 S.E.2D 629 (VA.2000) - Five Years of Unfair Jury Trials
Mobile Justice Tour returns to Richmond, Tuesday, September 15
THE HIDDEN COSTS OF MASS INCARCERATION ON FAMILY AND FORMERLY INCARCERATED At each event, the MJT will reveal "Who Pays? The True Cost of Incarceration on Families. Join the movement to end the trend of mass incarceration.
MOBILE JUSTICE TOUR SEPTEMBER EVENTS
Here is updated MJT events and news. Please share with Everyone! Especially incarcerated and people with a record. Thank you in advance for your continued support.
Welcoming the 4th Statewide Mobile Justice Tour (MJT) - Join Us
Statewide Mobile Justice Tour Looks to Help Returning Citizens Become Voters and Highlight Importance of Sentencing Reforms as Key Part of Parole Discussion.
2015-2016 RIHD Legislative Agenda/Position Papers for Reforms
Legislation to "correct sentencing injustices from the past that remain uncorrected."
2015 Holiday Transportation to Faraway Virginia Prisons
Special trip to Pocahontas/Keen Mtn - Red Onion/Wallens Ridge - River North Leave and Return from Richmond VA
4th MobileJustice Tour Starts Tuesday August 18th - Join Us
"To improve the effectiveness and fairness of Virginia’s justice system" Download Schedule and Share.-
URGENT CALL TO ACTION ON SB 1017 (BAN-THE-BOX BILL)
We need your voices NOW to help Virginia pass important Ban the Box legislation. Read on to find out who you can call and what to say!
Important Bills Being Heard at the General Assembly Requiring Your Support
Dear members, families, friends and allies, Listed are more proposed legislation being heard at the General Assembly requiring public support. Some bills may not go as far as we would like, however, they are a start, "fair and commonsense"... Continue support all efforts to end mass incarceration. Peace Lillie (Ms.K) Branch-Kennedy
Help correct injustices that have remain uncorrected! Time for Change!
SUPPORT RIHD! Help pass "fair and commonsense" sentence reform laws. Please read, download, print and share with incarcerated persons, family, friends and your district state legislators.
THE MOBILE JUSTICE TOUR IS BACK! JOIN US!
The Mobile Justice Tour (MJT) in Virginia is embarking on their 3rd fifteen-city tour calling for the overhaul of Virginia’s Justice System, restoring civil and voting rights and for state-wide fair-hiring application policies for persons with a criminal record.
GOOD NEWS - FREDERICKSBURG VA BAN THE BOX
"Great news! We just heard this week that Fredericksburg banned the box!" Please read on and share with others.....
Civil & Voting Rights Restored: Friday May 9th
Volunteer groups to assist ex-felons with restoration of the rights on Friday, May 9 at Richmond Coliseum 6th & Board. Share information and invite everyone to attend.
Justice Reinvestment Initiative
Special Meeting Tuesday, May 13th in Richmond. Reservation required. R.I.H.D., Inc. wants to hear about your experiences dealing with the criminal justice system as part of our “Towards a Caring Economy” focus group and get your suggestion for changing policies to better promote public safety and economic opportunities.
Justice Reinvestment Initiative
Special Meeting Tuesday, May 13th in Richmond. Reservation required. R.I.H.D., Inc. wants to hear about your experiences dealing with the criminal justice system as part of our “Towards a Caring Economy” focus group and get your suggestion for changing policies to better promote public safety and economic opportunities.
RIHD 2014 - 2015 Legislative Advocacy
As the current 2014 General Assembly comes to a close, RIHD, PAFERJ, MJT are continuing it's advocacy to educate and gather public support for "fair and commonsense" laws. We need your help, we need everyone to be proactive in letting their district legislators know you support said "positions" Feel free to clip, paste or print and share with others, especially those directly affected. Thank you for your continued support.
Virginia’s Billion Dollar Corrections Budget - JPI Report
According to Billion Dollar Divide Virginia’s Sentencing, Corrections and Criminal Justice Challenge, a new report released today by the Justice Policy Institute (JPI), while other states are successfully reforming their sentencing laws, parole policies and drug laws,
Justice Dept. Asks For Help Finding Prisoners Who Deserve Clemency
The second-in-command at the Justice Department met Tuesday with defense lawyers and interest groups to identify the cases of worthy prisoners who could qualify for clemency.
FREE HER Rally on June 21, 2014 in Washington DC
Families For Justice As Healing are organizing the FREE HER Rally on June 21, 2014 in Washington DC on the Washington Mall. Women and supporters from across the country coming together to raise our voices as one to end mass incarceration and the war on drugs, the major catalyst to mass incarceration of women.
Ensuring public safety through successful prisoner reentry policies - DCJS Blueprint
2010 DCJS Report: Ensuring public safety through successful prisoner reentry policies
Virginia’s Justice System Needs Overhaul, JPI Report 11/2013
REPRINT/REPOST: Virginia is guaranteed to face an escalating crisis if it does not take steps to reassess and change its approach to crime and imprisonment, according to a new policy brief released today by the Justice Policy Institute (JPI). The policy brief, Virginia’s Justice System: Expensive, Ineffective and Unfair, calls the Commonwealth’s juvenile and criminal justice policies and practices ineffective, inequitable and expensive, costing taxpayers billions each year.
MJT: FREDRICKSBURG VA: THURSDAY MARCH 13 6PM
MASS INCARCERATION -Vs- Successful Re-entry What’s working, what’s not?
MJT: RICHMOND, VA: TUESDAY, MARCH 18 - 7PM TO 9PM
MASS INCARCERATION -Vs- Successful Re-entry What’s working, what’s not?
Mobile Justice Tour Returns to Lynchburg: Sat. Feb. 22 - 3pm
MJT re-visits Lynchburg, Virginia. Mass Incarceration -vs- Successful Re-entry. Join Us. All are welcome, public event and Free! Bring a friend or two.
Mobile Justice Tour 2014 Schedule - February & March - JOIN US!
FREE PUBLIC EVENTS: Providing Justice-Related Awareness & On-site Direct Services: • Sentencing reform to end mass incarceration in Virginia • Restoration of Civil & Voting Rights Application/Filing Assistance • Ban-the-Box Fairer Employment Application
Mobile Justice Tour Comes to Roanoke Virginia - Thursday, February 20th
JOIN US FOR: MASS INCARCERATION -Vs- Successful Reentry. What's working, what's not?
Ban-the-Box: General Assembly Mon. Jan 27(House) & Tue. Jan 28 (Senate)
GENERAL ASSEMBLY 9th & BROAD STREET: MONDAY, JANUARY 27, in the House Criminal Law Subcommittee, Room C between 3pm-4pm and TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, in the Senate General Laws and Technology Subcommittee #2 at 9am; 3rd Floor, West Conference.
“Ban the Box” Talking Points SB250 (McEachin) and HB892 (Krupicka)
Please contact committee legislators enclosed supporting Ban-the-Box fair and commonsense legislation. Thank you.
HB 723: Earned Sentence Credit (Drug Related Felonies Only)
Enclosed is HB723 currently being heard at the General Assembly, requiring public support. HB723 offers 7.5 days sentence credit for persons convicted of drug related felonies only.
2014 GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION: PROPOSED BILLS
Listed below are proposed legislation that RIHD and the CRC have been monitoring. Please be proactive in giving voice to these bills to both the sponsor and your district state legislators. For additional information, join us at the next mobile justice tour. Schedule attached
Mobile Justice Tour: Month of February
– A coalition of civil rights groups partnering for a 15-city tour of Virginia to raise awareness on and provide direct services for justice issues that affect people with criminal records. • Restoration of Civil & Voting Rights Application/Filing Assistance • Ban-the-Box Fairer Employment Application • Sentencing reforms to end mass incarceration in Virginia
HB 414 Support Prison Phone Justice
From our friends at SALT: Things are moving quickly in Virgina this legislative session. A vote will take place this Thursday on a prison phone justice bill.
MJT: Mass Incarceration -vs- Successful Reentry: What’s Working, What’s Not!
Providing Justice-Related Awareness & On-site Direct Services: • Restoration of Civil & Voting Rights Application/Filing Assistance; • Ban-the-Box Fairer Employment Application and • Sentencing reforms to end mass incarceration in Virginia
SB 250 Employment applications; inquiries regarding criminal arrests, charges, or convictions.
CALL, WRITE, EMAIL, FAX TODAY IN SUPPORT OF "SB 250 Employment applications; inquiries regarding criminal arrests, charges, or convictions." Let your legislators know you are a Member of the Community Restoration Campaign for "fair and commonsense laws" -- Thank you Lillie (Ms. K)
Back by Popular Demand, 10-City Tour Calls for Overhaul of Virginia’s Justice System
The Mobile Justice Tour, re-launches on Saturday, December 14, with a focus on three key issues: civil rights restoration for citizens with felony convictions, removing questions about an applicant’s criminal background from initial employment forms, and sentencing reform to end mass incarceration in Virginia.
Senate Bill No. 796
LEARN HOW YOU CAN HELP US PASS THIS BILL SENATE BILL NO. 796 Offered January 12, 2011 Prefiled December 29, 2010 A BILL to amend and reenact § 53.1-202.2 of the Code of Virginia and to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Article 4 of Chapter 6 of Title 53.1 a section numbered 53.1-202.5, relating to rehabilitative programming; earned sentence credits. ---------- Patron-- Locke ---------- Referred to Committee on Rehabilitation and Social Services ---------- Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia: 1. That § 53.1-202.2 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted and that the Code of Virginia is amended by adding in Article 4 of Chapter 6 of Title 53.1 a section numbered 53.1-202.5 as follows: § 53.1-202.2. Eligibility for earned sentence credits. A. Every person who is convicted of a felony offense committed on or after January 1, 1995, and who is sentenced to serve a term of incarceration in a state or local correctional facility shall be eligible to earn sentence credits in the manner prescribed by this article. Such eligibility shall commence upon the person's incarceration in any correctional facility following entry of a final order of conviction by the committing court. As used in this chapter, "sentence credit" and "earned sentence credit" mean deductions from a person's term of confinement earned through adherence to rules prescribed pursuant to § 53.1-25, through program participation as required by §§ 53.1-32.1 and, 53.1-202.3, and 53.1-202.5, and by meeting such other requirements as may be established by law or regulation. One earned sentence credit shall equal a deduction of one day from a person's term of incarceration. B. A juvenile convicted as an adult and sentenced as a serious juvenile offender under clause (i) of subdivision A 1 of § 16.1-272 shall be eligible to earn sentence credits for the portion of the sentence served with the Department of Juvenile Justice in the manner prescribed by this article. Consideration for earned sentence credits shall require adherence to the facility's rules and the juvenile's progress toward treatment goals and objectives while sentenced as a serious juvenile offender under § 16.1-285.1. § 53.1-202.5. Rate at which sentence credits may be earned for rehabilitative programming; prerequisites. Ten additional sentence credits may be earned for each 30 days of rehabilitative programming. The earning of these sentence credits shall be conditioned upon full and satisfactory participation in programs for earning a high school diploma or an equivalent degree, college credit, or a certification through an accredited vocational training program or other accredited continuing education program. Credit shall also be given based on equivalent interventional rehabilitation programs completion, including but not limited to mental health treatment, sex offender treatment, and any other interventional rehabilitation programs deemed appropriate for this credit by the Director. Qualified individuals who conduct or teach such programs without other compensation shall also be eligible for such credits. Credit that has not been earned may not later be granted. Credit for the last year or portion of a year of the term of imprisonment shall be prorated and credited within the last six weeks of the sentence. Credit awarded under this section shall vest on the last day of each calendar year or upon full completion of the included program and may be denied based upon removal from any included program for noncompliance with program requirements or institutional rules. Exemptions to the General Educational Development requirement may be made as deemed appropriate based upon the determination and recommendation of Department of Correctional Education personnel. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no portion of any sentence credits earned shall be applied to reduce the period of time a person must serve before becoming eligible for parole upon any sentence.