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Showing posts from January, 2018

Hundreds rally at State Capitol for prisoner rights

The Virginia Defender Staff Report

RICHMOND, VA -- In the largest show of support for Virginia prisoners in memory, more than 300 people turned out Jan. 20 for the Virginia Rally for Prison Reform on Richmond’s Capitol Square.

They came by chartered buses and carpools from Blacksburg and Roanoke, Prince William County and Fredericksburg, Suffolk and Hampton Roads, as well as from the Richmond area. One of the largest contingents was from the NAACP chapter at Norfolk State University.

Many were former prisoners or relatives of prisoners. Some represented prisoner advocacy groups. Others were individuals drawn to the event by the crying need for reform in the Virginia prison system. Several newly seated state legislators were in attendance.

One especially unique feature was that the rally was initiated by a prisoner organization, Virginia Prisoner of Conscience (VAPOC), whose members spread the word among their relatives and friends on the outside. Logistics were handled by the Coalitio…