Update:

Today, prosecutors from eleven localities in Virginia sent a letter to Democratic leadership at the General Assembly emphasizing the criminal justice reform policy proposals that they support.

“We are a group of Commonwealth’s Attorneys who represent and are responsible for the safety of over 40% of the population of the Commonwealth of Virginia. We submit this letter to you as a statement of our commitment to these changes and meaningful reforms and of our willingness to be partners by offering our assistance to you and your colleagues as you propose and implement these critically needed reforms.”

Some of the proposed reforms include increased accountability measures for police, tighter restrictions on no-knock warrants, eliminating the mandatory suspension of driver licenses for drug convictions, and the removal of mandatory minimums.

We stand ready to be of assistance to you and the members of the General Assembly in the lead-up to and during the Special Session,” said the letter. “We applaud your willingness to make these most needed changes that will directly and positively impact the communities in which we are honored and privileged to serve each and every day.”‘

Legislators are expecting to address these issues towards the end of summer during a Special Session which is expected to happen in August. The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus (VLBC) released a list of priorities for the Session in order to “ensure that there is a bold swing towards greater racial and social justice and change across Virginia.”

The legislation that the VLBC prioritized includes criminal justice reforms, racial-equality measures, and COVID-19 relief.

“As leaders, the next steps are to ensure that there is a bold swing towards greater racial and social justice and change across Virginia,” said the VLBC in a press release in June. “For decades, members of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus (VLBC) have been working to break down systems of oppression, including working to reframe the ways that State government approaches public safety. The pressure created by the protests has generated a larger public shift and facilitated avenues for such changes to be made in new and creative ways. Today, the VLBC announces its policy priorities and proposals.”

By vascope

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