photo: Richmond Times-Disptach
In Virginia, offenders lose their right to vote, run or hold public office, serve on a jury, and serve as a notary public if convicted of a felony, violent offense, crime against a minor, or an election law. Historically, the process to have rights restored has been long and agonizing, and often acted as a deterrent to even begin the process. However, under former Governor Bob McDonnell, efforts were initiated to streamline and speed up the process for offenders’ rights to be restored after incarceration. Governor Terry McAuliffe has continued the momentum by decreasing the time violent offenders must wait to seek reinstatement of their rights. McAuliffe has also removed drug offenses from the list of violent offenses, thus drug offenders are able to begin the process even sooner. Such initiatives have enabled the McAuliffe Administration to grant over 3,400 Restoration of Rights petitions to date.
Inmates who were eligible had the opportunity to register to vote or vote by absentee for the November 4, 2014. Clovia Lawrence and team Rolling For Freedom-R4F registered several inmates to vote in time for the election in November.
Thank you Richmond Sheriff CT Woody Jr and Dr. Sarah Scarbrough of the Richmond Justice Center. Clovia Lawrence takes you inside of the Richmond Justice Center.