Advocates and the media  are already responding to the policy brief, which finds that the justice system in Virginia is:

  • Ineffective: The “truth in sentencing” laws enacted in the 1990s have failed to impact crime or recidivism, and Virginia’s aggressive stance on arresting people for drug violations has had no effect on reducing drug use, which has increased in recent years;
  • Expensive: In 2011, Virginia spent more than $94 million on drug arrests alone;
  • Unfair: Whites and African Americans use and sell drugs at similar rates. But in Virginia, while African Americans are about 20 percent of the population, they make up 44 percent of those incarcerated on a drug offense.

Review some of the media and blog coverage that captured our findings and highlighted the publication roll-out unveiling at Virginia Union University on November 14, 2013.

Continue to advocate. Write your own letter to the editor in response to these articles and editorials. Contact your policymakers, whether in Virginia, or elsewhere in the nation, for a more fairer justice system. Reform is near; let’s continue to work together.