Without a vote, a voice, I am a ghost inhabiting a citizen’s space.” 
— Joe Loya, disenfranchised with a record.
Wade Henderson, executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights,  proclaims that, prior to the Civil War, African-Americans were almost totally disenfranchised.Even after enactment of the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees
the right to vote,  many states continued to use various methods to prevent African-Americans from voting, including literacy tests,
poll taxes, the disenfranchisement of former inmates, intimidation, threats and even violence!

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was a new beginning for African-American citizens. For the first time, the  federal government
required states to comply with the 15th Amendment. However, lifetime  disenfranchisement of former felons continues today in
FOUR (4) states that includes the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA.   According to the Drug Policy Alliance, “The United States is
the only democracy in which some people who  have served their sentences can still lose their right to vote. Approximately
4.7 million people in the U.S. cannot vote because of a felony conviction.” Of these 4.7 million people, the Commonwealth of
Virginia accounts for over 350,000. These convicted felons, most of whom were convicted of nonviolent offenses, 1st time offenders,
and are productive citizens, assets to society, are in our communities, have paid their debts to society, earned a second chance in almost all aspects of their life, yet remain disenfranchised for life. Virginians should be outraged!

VA: Governor McAuliffe’s April 22, 2016 order restores the rights to all individuals who, as of April 22, 2016,
have completed the terms of incarceration and have completed any period of supervised release (probation or parole) for any
and all felony convictions. Going forward, the Governor will issue monthly orders restoring rights to persons who have completed the terms of their incarceration and any periods of supervised release since April 22, 2016. 
Have my rights been restored?  You can click here to see if your civil rights have been restored by the Governor.  

Many civil rights, nonprofit and faith-based groups continue to advocate both legislatively to remove barriers to voting in Virginia faced by people with felony convictions. Each year several CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT for “automatic restoration of former felon civil & voting rights” are proposed during Virginia’ General Assembly session. Each year said proposed legislation have failed. R.I.H.D urge Virginians to contact their district state legislator in support of a constitutional amendment that ENDS lifetime disenfranchisement of former felons upon completion of requirements (fees, debts related to crime). 
Who’s my State Legislator: http://conview.state.va.us/whosmy.nsf/main?openform


Ban the Box

​Ban the box is the name of an international campaign by civil rights groups and advocates for ex-offenders, aimed at persuading employers to remove from their hiring applications the check box that asks if applicants have a criminal record.”

Ban the box was founded, initiated by two nationally known friends and formerly incarcerated Mr. Dorsey Nunn (All of Us or None) and  Rev Kenneth Sharpton-Glasgow (The Ordinary People Society).  Over ten (10) years ago I met and left armed with their winning blueprint and sample ban-the-box legislation, and a directive to "why reinvent the wheel”, to share  with fellow Virginians and advocates.

Ban the box concept had been known for a long time in Virginia and throughout the United State, however successful implement of the shared ban-the-box "blue-print" were  Mr. Richard Walker (Richmond) and Ms. Renita Parker (Newport News). RIHD celebrate these Virginia pioneers for paying it forward, their partnership with the  RIHD Mobile Justice Tour(s).

Since April 2013, the MJT and partners have visited over 60 cities, towns/ counties providing statewide justice-related awareness for sentencing reform, ban the box (local, state, federal) and restoration of rights to ordinary residents and groups/organization.    
To date over Virginia municipalities and 41 private companies such as Target, Bed/Bath and Beyond, Walmart and Koch Industries have joined the movement. In 2015, Virginia’s Gov. McAuliffe signed a state executive order to ban the box in state government hiring.
The unsung heroes are you, Virginians, who invested in the founders of ban-the-box and RIHD MJT.  You took action that created real change for their communities!  The fight for equality and justice continues. Truth to power! Power to Truth!

Mission. Drive-To-Work assists low income or previously incarcerated persons to restore their driving privileges so they can drive to work and keep a job. Recognizing how important a driver's license is to many jobs, Drive-To-Work provides legal and other services and is the only organization in Virginia directly addressing this issue.
Additional Information/Application:  [email protected]  •  (804) 358-6727  •  (877) 358-6727


REENTRY TIMES:   https://reentrytimes.com/   
Helping ex-offenders find second chance employment with "Felon Friendly" employers