Organizations are listed alphabetically. Get involved and join one!
Advocate VA seeks to bridge the sizable gap between legislators, legislative policy and those advocating for positive social change, inmate rights and progressive criminal justice reform in the State of Virginia. We are a non-partisan advocacy grassroots movement, which through collaboration with reputable advocacy groups and the private citizenry, seek to bring attention to the continued and longstanding bias of those currently incarcerated, while proactively assisting their peers and extended families petition for urgent criminal justice reform.
Offices in Richmond and Newport News; Richmond office serves Richmond and Central Virginia; Newport News Office serves the Peninsula and Hampton Roads area
Richard Walker is the Founder/CEO and can be reached at 804-248-6756, his email: email@example.com
C. Dallas Bell is the Executive Director of the Newport News office and can be reached at 757-928-0888, his email address is cdallasbellbridgingthegapinvirginia.org
Read their pamphlet: Bridging the Gap pamphlet
BTGIV mission is to empower formerly incarcerated persons, veterans, at-risk youth, substance abuser, and homeless individuals by helping them overcome the barriers that hinder the effective transition following incarceration, military duty, recovery into mainstream society.
BTGIV’s primary goal is to provide services that will enable returning citizens and individuals with adverse criminal records to readjust into society in order to abstain from criminal lifestyles. The program works with the judicial system and other agencies to aid in the wholesome spiritual, social and economic rehabilitation of the individual being released from the criminal justice system.
We are a 501c3 non-profit, which was founded in 1981 in response to the US-backed covert war in Nicaragua. We take an intersectional approach to our work and recognize that all systems of oppression are interconnected and form a larger, overall system of domination. In 2017, we formed a Prison Justice Committee, which includes several prisoners. We work to support the many disadvantaged groups within the prison system, recognizing that their groups must, in turn, work with one another in order to support all oppressed peoples, so that no one falls through the cracks. We seek to empower prisoners and also advocate for their human rights when the informal complaint/grievance process is not responsive. We fight to change a repressive and unfair criminal justice system and support much-needed legislative changes but with the understanding that legislative changes are not enough — we need a total transformation of the system where community based alternatives that centers on rehabilitation, strengthening treatment programs, and harm reduction services. We publish the monthly newsletter for the Virginia Prison Justice Network, that goes out to prisoners warehoused across the state, which covers legislative initiatives as well as other issues pertaining to prison justice. You can view the newsletter on the “media” page of the VAPJN website.
We work directly with prisoners and their families as they navigate the prison system to ensure that their rights are observed. Through our advocacy, and through a network of individuals and groups, we work to end mass incarceration in our state.
House Of Dreams
Telephone: Angela Antoine @ 757-303-0368
Address: 733 Thimble Shoals Blvd, Newport News, Virginia 23606
The House of Dreams ReEntry Consulting, LC is An organization that is dedicated to helping Returning Citizen become Successful Citizens in Every aspect of their life by providing the proper resources and information to be able to do so.
House of Dreams also, advocates for those individuals that are being mistreated inside of jails/prison whether its medical or violation of their rights.
They also lobby for criminal justice reform in Virginia, Washington DC, and North Carolina.
Contact: Gin Carter at firstname.lastname@example.org
Their mission is to humanize the lives of those of us behind bars in the eyes of the world, thus encouraging criminal justice reform guided by public understanding and compassion, the humanization project will share direct personal stories, educational outreach, academic research, and creative writing.
Ignite Justice is a 501C(3) non-profit organization. Our mission is to foster community awareness and engagement to overcome the issues facing the justice system, incarcerated people, families, and the community, through education, support, and advocacy. We focus on community education, and helping connect to people to other resources available. We correspond with incarcerated individuals and help to address any concerns.
Address: Rabbi Charles Feinberg, Interfaith Action for Human Rights, POB 55802, Washington, DC 20040
Interfaith Action for Human Rights, a Mid-Atlantic coalition of faith communities and people of faith, brings action, education and advocacy to eliminate the practice of solitary confinement of prisoners in state facilities in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia. IAHR’s network of multi-faith, multi-ethnic and multi-racial groups seeks to change the culture, policy and practices that violate the human rights of prisoners held in correctional facilities. We believe that: Solitary confinement is a form of psychological torture; Solitary confinement is costly and ineffective; Short-term confinement of juveniles, the mentally ill and other vulnerable prisoners poses grave risks to the health and rehabilitation of these prisoners. Guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the wisdom of our respective faiths, IAHR advocates for more just and compassionate laws and policies. Through pastoral outreach, educational efforts and legislative advocacy, IAHR engages and mobilizes faith communities, families, the media, elected and appointed officials, and the general public.
Keeping Inmates Families Together is a page that was created to keep Inmates and their families close through this process of separation. By all means.
Website is here.
Address: ICNA Council for Social Justice, 1952 Gallows Rd, Suite 102, Vienna, VA 22182
Their main objective is to support Muslim inmates in detention and correctional facilities by providing them with prayer services, Islamic education, equipment/supplies, and resources to ensure that they are given their full rights and are treated in a civil manner. If you would like to volunteer with them, or need any help with regards to Muslims in prison, please reach out .
Contact them here.
We believe that prisoners should have the right to vote to express their views, concerns, ideas, etc. regarding laws for effective prison management. We acknowledge that there are disparities in treatment among Blacks at every stage of the criminal Justice process. Yet we’be allowed felon disenfranchisement laws to continue to exist. Huh? Obviously Blacks are disproportionately impacted by these laws. This impedes our access to law makers which contributes to our communities being neglected. One of the consequences is that we prisoners have been subject to draconian prison policies that don’t work at producing productive citizens, but rather men who leave prison feeling more disaffected then they did before their incarceration. We believe that prisoners & ex- felons must have the right to vote and force lawmakers to be accountable to our communities! Until this happens Amerikkka is still bound to its racist past.
Address: Richmond Jericho, PO Box 2164, Chesterfield, VA 23832
They strive to maintain a nonsectarian movement that supports revolutionary prisoners of all stripes, and other political dissidents within prison walls. They define a political prisoner as anyone imprisoned for acting on their political beliefs.
Address: RIHD, P.O. Box 55, Highland Springs, Virginia 23075
Call: (804) 426-4426
To receive their daily-digest sign up at: InMateResource@yahoogroups.com
RIHD was founded in 2002 by Lilly Brant Kennedy (retired from a US Government career), in response to the barriers she experienced while engaging the criminal justice system on behalf of a family member who had been given an egregiously long sentence. RIHD formed with other volunteers in a similar situation to educate and empower Virginia families and communities on the negative impact of a racially disparate system to mass incarceration and provide educational outreach to reduce the level of societal disenfranchisement of people with a criminal record. An award-winning all-volunteer statewide organization known for its low-cost transportation service to faraway Virginia rural prisons. Sentencing reform, sentencing guidelines, restoration of civil and voting rights, and ban the box for fair hiring in the workplace are just some of the ways RIHD has helped ordinary Virginia to understand and navigate the criminal justice system and bring about necessary reform.
Contact: Valerie Slater, RISE Campaign Coordinator, email@example.com
Address: Rise for Youth, 1705 E. Main St., Richmond, VA 23223
The mission of Rise For Youth is: to increase the likelihood that youth will become law-abiding adults by investing in community- based alternatives to juvenile justice system involvement; to reduce the number of youth arrested, referred, under the supervision of the Department of Juvenile Justice or committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice; to close Virginia’s juvenile prisons and re-invest savings from their closure into evidence-informed, community-based alternatives that will keep youth at home with their families and communities and keep communities safer and to build a true continuum of evidence-informed placements for youth that cannot safely remain in their homes.
SALT is a network of persons in Virginia embracing the principle that “The justice of a society can be measured by how the most vulnerable members of that society are faring and being treated.” This principle can be found in all the great religious traditions and inspires SALT members to propose and shape fair public social policies through our education of policy makers & our advocacy for the poor and powerless. John Horejsi is the Founder and Coordinator and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SALT: Background & Objectives (Perspectives: Study/Advocacy/service) are found here.
Some SALT top successes:
1) HIP program—prevents homelessness before it begins
2) Repeal of Sales Tax on Food Stamps—$9.5 million food assistance to at-risk of hunger families
3) Obtained Anti-Shackling of inmate women in child labor
4) Virginia State Earned Income Tax Credit EITC and VITC Mini-Grants
5) Child Support Pass Through Supplement for TANF families
6) Insured telephone justice for inmate families by lowering rates
Address: Transitional Options for Women, 1729 Patterson Ave., Roanoke, VA 24016
Telephone: (house: 540-512-9979)
Contact: President and Founder, Dorothy Owsley (email@example.com)
Transitional Options for Women (TOFW) is a not-for-profit social service agency serving the Roanoke City and surrounding areas. TOFW provides transitional housing and life skills training for women released from the regional jails and prisons. It offers assistance to women upon release from incarceration and to frequently homeless women as they move from dependent (often abusive) relationships into independent, self-sufficient lifestyles. Their 5,000 square foot resident has 7 bedrooms able to provide housing for up to 8 individuals in a dignified and lovely home.
The facility provides clients with an 8-step program that teaches necessary life skills. The program includes personal development, vocational training, substance abuse counseling, interpersonal skills, community involvement, leisure activities, and independent living skills. Their mission is to provide a safe transitional housing alternative for women released from prisons and jails by teaching a multitude of skills to empower the women to become self-sufficient and demonstrate positive attitudes.
The Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse is a law school legal aid clinic providing free representation before the Virginia Parole Board to a limited number of “old-law” prisoners who are eligible for discretionary parole. The Clearinghouse is comprised of eight third-year Washington & Lee law students and led by Professor David I. Bruck. For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Virginia Coalition on Solitary Confinement
The Virginia Coalition on Solitary Confinement is made up of individuals and organizations working to reduce and eliminate the use of solitary confinement in Virginia’s prisons and jails through legislative and administrative policy changes. Organizations represented in our group include
Interfaith Action for Human Rights
ACLU of Virginia
National Alliance on Mental Illness–VA
SALT (Social Action Linking Together)
Virginia Council of Churches
Virginia Catholic Conference
Amnesty International of Northern Virginia
Social Workers Against Solitary Confinement
For more information or to get involved contact Gay Gardner at email@example.com
Address: VA Cure, PO Box 2310, Vienna, VA 22183
Their mission is to support a safe, peaceful Virginia for all citizens by meeting public safety responsibilities for restoration of crime victims, the offenders, the affected families, and the community at large. Our objective is to provide information, support and resources, to serve as an effective voice in gaining public attention for positive changes and improvements in policies and laws.
Phone – Text: 804.644.5834
We are an all-volunteer, multi-issue organization working for the survival of our communities through education and social justice projects. We began in 2002 as a group of relatives of prisoners concerned about the conditions in the state’s jails and prisons. We are a co-founder of the Virginia Prison Justice Network and organize the network’s annual rally at the State Capitol, along with local Prison Justice Speak-Outs. We correspond with inmates, speak at prisoner-organized events, support prisoner struggles and report on prison-related issues in our quarterly newspaper, The Virginia Defender. More information is at: https://defendersfje.blogspot.com.
VAPAC is organized to ensure that the Virginia Department of Corrections [VADOC] complies with Virginia laws and Prison officials and guards follow VADOC policy an procedures.
Prisoners throughout the state are educating and organizing on the issues of prisoner justice from the inside and to those on the outside. Their mission is to end mass incarceration.