The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a life-and-death crisis in Virginia’s prisons and jails. Nearly one out of every four incarcerated Virginians have come down with the disease, due to overcrowding, poor health care, lack of outside oversight and many other factors.
In response, the VIRGINIA PRISON JUSTICE NETWORK will be holding a “NOT ONE MORE DEATH! CAR CARAVAN” on SATURDAY, JAN. 16.
We will be raising three demands:
1 – Outside oversight of the state’s prisons and jails by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or a similar agency.
2 – Classification of prisoners on the same level as residents of nursing homes for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
3 – Rapid expansion of the state’s early release program to include a much wider pool of eligible prisoners.
WE WILL GATHER AT NOON ON SATURDAY, JAN. 16, in the very large parking lot of the Black-owned Supreme Flea Market at 3302 Williamsburg Road, Richmond, about seven miles from Capitol Square. We will then caravan downtown where we will circle the State Capitol. We will then return to the parking lot.
The caravan itself will take the form of a defiant funeral procession under the slogan “NOT ONE MORE DEATH!” with signs, banners and a portable sound system.
NOTE: This will be an outdoor, socially distanced event at which everyone will be strongly encouraged to wear a face mask out of concern for each other’s health.
Every January for the past three years, hundreds of former prisoners, family members and supporters have gathered at Capitol Square in Richmond for the VIRGINIA PRISON JUSTICE RALLY.
This annual event, the largest of its kind in Virginia, is sponsored by the VIRGINIA PRISON JUSTICE NETWORK, a prisoner-led alliance of more than 20 advocacy organizations that works to create a greater voice for incarcerated individuals and their family members who remain victimized by unjust laws and policies.
Each year the rally features statements from Virginia prisoners, remarks by former prisoners and family members and representatives from prisoner advocacy organizations. The goal is to call attention to the many injustices that exist within prisons, jails and the criminal justice system in the Commonwealth of Virginia and build support for bills to be presented to the 2021 session of the Virginia General Assembly that would correct these long-overdue inequities.
This year, because of restrictions the state is putting on events held at the Capitol, we will be holding a car caravan and posting prisoner and supporter statements online. (https://vapjn.wordpress.com)
YOU CAN HELP BY SHARING THIS INFORMATION AND INVITING YOUR FRIENDS TO THE EVENTS.
For more information, see:
On Facebook: 4th Annual Virginia Prison Justice Rally
Email (for the caravan): DefendersFJE@hotmail.comEmail for general VAPJN information): email@example.com