Welcome to
          R.I.H.D., Inc.

Resource, Information, Help for the Disadvantaged (RIHD)
was formed by Lillie Branch-Kennedy, a
former government employee in 2001 in response to the
barriers she experienced while engaging the criminal
justice system on behalf of her son, a first time offender, currently  incarcerated.

RIHD was formed with other volunteers in similar situation,
to educate and empower Virginia families and communities
on the negative impact of a racially-disparate system to
mass incarceration and through educational outreach to
reduce the level of societal disenfranchisement of the formerly incarcerated.

RIHD is a small, but extremely effective, all-volunteer
nonprofit, known for its ground-level work in assisting
and empowering the incarcerated and their families
through grassroots and "self-help" initiatives.
RIHD provides direct services to the incarcerated and their
families including low-cost transportation for families to visit
loved ones incarcerated at many of Virginia distant and overly
rural prisons. RIHD also provides outreach and education on
unfair sentencing laws, the restoration of rights for the formerly incarcerated, the benefits of “Banning the Box,” in employment,
and support for families attempting
to understand and navigate the criminal justice system.

RIHD Youth Initiative is an honored recipient
of the 2011 City of Richmond Mayors “Lights
on After-school” and Richmond City Council ” Proclamations, working to empower youth
at-risk through academic and well-being initiatives.
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Home of the
Mobile Justice Tour

The Mobile Justice Tour founded and led
by RIHD.  With coalition partners and
community support groups, a continous statewide traveling tour raising awareness around justice-related issues that affect people with criminal records, their family
and it's community.  At each stop we
provide direct services from it's community that assist, uplift and empower. 

RIHD is currently taking invitations from
your community for Spring, 2017.
Events are FREE and PUBLIC

Events normally held at local library
community centers, church, colleges, etc.

​For additional information
​Email Brenda at
​Or text MJT at (804) 426-4426



Thoughts of a prisoner:  Someday the
gates will open, and once more I’ll be
free. Have I a future awaiting me?  Will 
I be accepted by others, or forced
to walk alone?   –Luis Verduzco 
2017 Sentencing Reform Campaign
Correct Sentencing Injustices of the PAST that remain Uncorrected

1.  Dear Virginia State Legislator(s):  We urge you to support 
Senator Jennifer Wexton proposed 2017 legislation Senate Bill 825 (SB825)
SB 825:  New sentencing hearing; abolition of parole. Provides
that a person who was sentenced by a jury prior to the date of the Supreme Court of Virginia decision in Fishback v. Commonwealth, 
260 Va. 104 (June 9, 2000), in which the Court held that a jury should
be instructed on the fact that parole has been abolished, for a
noncapital felony committed prior to the time that the abolition of
parole went into effect (January 1, 1995) is entitled to a new sentencing proceeding if such person is still incarcerated. The bill provides that
such person shall file a petition for a new sentencing proceeding with
the Court of Appeals, which shall direct the circuit court in which the
order of conviction was originally entered to empanel a new jury for
the purpose of conducting the new sentencing proceeding and notify
the appropriate attorney for the Commonwealth. The bill also provides
that if the attorney for the Commonwealth and the person filing the petition agree, such person may waive his right to a new sentencing proceeding and allow the court to fix punishment.

Copy of Bill:  http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=171&typ=bil&val=Sb825&submit=GO

2.  Dear Virginia State Legislator(s):   We urge you to amend the Virginia Code Statute governing sentencing guidelines when reintroduced
during the 2017 General Assembly Session.  
In more than **3000 cases between 2007 and 2013, judges provided
no written reason for exceeding sentencing guidelines -- even though
they are required to do so by law. What’s worse, Virginia law does not allow this to form the basis of post-conviction relief or be reviewable
on appeal.  **Not including cases between 1995-2006 and 2014 to
current. Estimated 10,000 additional cases. of sentencing guideline disparities requiring remedy.
 As of Dec. 20, the 2017 Bill # has not been assigned.  Formerly  HB1298 (2016).   Stay updated sign up today at  RIHD  InMateResource@yahoogroups.com
 and Take Action Below to Create Change!

Dear RIHD members,  prisoner families, friends & allies,
Can we count on your help supporting sentencing reform in  to end the trend of mass incarceration in Virginia?

At stake:  Remedy/Correction to Virginia prisoners identified receiving sentence error/injustice (i.e. sentencing guideline disparities and Appellate court ruling of Fishback jury trials), incarcerated on/after 1995 (parole abolished) under "truth-in-sentencing."

To learn more and take action that creates change,  RIHD is requesting every person in your household, friends and community with a Virginia
address click on or visit the below and sign both petitions. 

1.  Your support to your district state legislators:  'https://actionnetwork.org/letters/stop-the-unfair-sentencing-trap-in-va

2.  Your support to Virginia Governor only:  https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/fix-sentencing-disparities-in-va

Please share, especially with the incarcerated.  Thank you.
In Solidarity for Equal Rights & Justice for All!


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." --Margaret Mead