Showing posts with label American Civil Liberties Union. Show all posts
Showing posts with label American Civil Liberties Union. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Gloucester High School's Untold Transgender Issues

English: A purple transgender ♀+♂=⚧ symbol sur...
English: A purple transgender ♀+♂=⚧ symbol surrounded by a triangle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Everyone is sick of the story about Gavin and her fight to use the male restrooms at the Gloucester, VA High School.  We feel pretty much the same way, but we have noticed that mainstream media continues to fail to bring various aspects of this story to light for readers which is why so many are sick of reading about this fight.

  Today we are speaking for those who can not speak for themselves.  The other side of the story no one else wants to publish nor dares too.

  Has anyone noticed that the teachers and staff at the Gloucester High School have not been interviewed for their opinions on this issue?  Let's look at some concepts here.  If teachers and staff should have to use the same restrooms as the students then having a transgender walk in while one of them are in there can represent a real issue that is simply being ignored by the press and the ACLU.  What about the rights of any adults that may need to use the restrooms of the school?  You are dealing with a minor in this situation and if the transgender student has an issue with that adult all kinds of accusations can fly creating havoc.  Of course this can happen without transgender students but is much less likely and there are other bathrooms for teachers and staff.  However, teachers and staff still need to monitor these areas for potential trouble.

  Now you will not get any of the opinions from any of the teachers or staff of the school unless it supports the issue.  Anyone giving the perceived wrong opinion is likely to be fired or come under heavy media scrutiny and potentially sued.

  It is the obligation of those charged with deciding this issue in maintaining the moral factor for all students and not trying to figure out the questions of some perceived rights of some few across the nation.  It does not matter what other students may think of the issue and whether some come out and say they have no issues with the situation as they are minors.  It is our obligation to make many decisions for minors or they would "NOT" be minors would they?  Let's look at it another way.  As a male one may not care if the females want to come into the bathroom while a male is in there.  But, would the female students want a male walking in on them?  Not likely.  Males may have motives for their seemingly liberal answers.

  The precedence that could be made here is far reaching.  If Gavin is allowed to use the male students restrooms then what is to stop any female student going into the male students restroom with a male?  Here is the claim that can be made if she is caught.  She is a transgender male who is gay and went into the male's restroom with her gay male boyfriend.  Is Gavin a gay male transgender?  That question is not being brought up.   Again let's look at the idea as though this is a member of the staff at the school.  A female janitor who wants to clean the male students restrooms while the males are in there.  The female janitor's explanation is that she is a transgender male.  What is the decision now?  How is this different?  Do we make the same provisions for cross dressers?  Could start a real trend.

  There is a similar case right now in Texas.  A male who claims he is a female and wants to use the female student's locker room.  Oh but that is somehow different?  No it isn't.  It's morally wrong and the mainstream press not addressing these issues is equally morally wrong.  It is all a part of tearing down the moral fabric of this and every other country across the world.

  If Gavin can not use the men's restroom at Walmart or Lowes or any of the local restaurants then why should the school be any different?  It isn't.


This fight is nowhere over and it is best that people do get involved in this fight until it is finally put to rest.  Are we going to continue to allow the few to dominate the many on supposed conceptual arguments of rights?  Do we ignore the morals of this nation?  It is an adult's argument to begin with.  Minor's need to be protected here.  And how many people notice that every picture of Gavin, she is always wearing earrings?  Yes some males have earrings but most males that have earrings usually only have one ear pierced not both.  Gavin has both pierced and another facial piercing as well.  I am not buying her story.   The word heard on the street which we can not verify is that Gavin's parents are betting on receiving a lot of money from the lawsuits here so is that the main incentive?  It is also heard that they have plenty of plans on how they want to spend all of that money.   

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Governor McAuliffe Appoints 27-Member Parole Commission

Bipartisan Participants Represent Law Enforcement, Community Groups, Academia 

RICHMOND – Today Governor Terry McAuliffe announced the appointment of an experienced group of law enforcement professionals, legislators, community leaders and academics to serve on his Commission on Parole Review. On June 24ththe Governor signed Executive Order No. 44 creating the Commission and charging it with reviewing Virginia’s approach to parole and recommending any policy changes that may enhance public safety while protecting taxpayer dollars. The Commission will be chaired by former Virginia Attorney General Mark Earley, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran and Secretary of the Commonwealth Levar Stoney.

“This bipartisan panel of Virginia leaders will bring an array of perspectives to this important discussion about how our Commonwealth can best keep our communities safe while spending every taxpayer dollar as wisely as possible,” said Governor McAuliffe.  “I applaud their willingness to put political dogma and preconceived notions aside and engage in a thoughtful process about how this policy has worked for Virginians over the past twenty years and whether there are any opportunities to improve it going forward. With the guidance of Co-Chairs Moran, Stoney and Earley, I am confident that their final report will represent the best interests of all citizens of the Commonwealth.”

The first meeting of the Commission is scheduled for Monday, July 20, from 1-4 p.m. in House Room 3, Virginia State Capitol

The Commission will address five significant priorities related to Parole Reform:

1.      Conduct A Review of Previous Goals and Subsequent Outcomes.
2.      Examine the Cost of Parole Reform/Abolition
3.      Evaluate the Best Practices of Other States
4.      Recommend Other Mediation Strategies
5.      Provide Recommendations to Address Public Safety Challenges

A draft report is due to the Governor by Nov. 2, 2015, with a final report due Dec. 4, 2015.


Members are as follows:

·         The Honorable Mark L. Earley, Sr., of Leesburg, Former Attorney General of Virginia; Owner, Earley Legal Group, LLC.  Will serve as Chair.
·         The Honorable Brian Moran of Arlington, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security.  Will serve as Co-Chair.
·         The Honorable Levar M. Stoney of Richmond, Secretary of the Commonwealth.  Will serve as Co-Chair.
·         The Honorable Jill Vogel of Fauquier, Member, Senate of Virginia
·         The Honorable Dave Marsden of Burke, Member, Senate of Virginia
·         The Honorable Dave Albo of Fairfax, Member, Virginia House of Delegates; Chairman, Courts of Justice Committee
·         The Honorable Luke E. Torian of Prince William, Member, Virginia House of Delegates
·         The Honorable Kenneth W. Stolle of Virginia Beach, Sheriff, Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office
·         The Honorable La Bravia J. Jenkins of the City of Fredericksburg,  Commonwealth’s Attorney
·         Gail Arnall, Ph.D., of Washington, DC, Consultant for Outreach and Development, Offender Aid and Restoration
·         Camille Cooper of Louisa, Director of Government Affairs, The National Association to PROTECT Children & PROTECT. 
·         Marcus M. Hodges of Spotsylvania, President, National Association of Probation Executives
·         Cynthia E. Hudson of Richmond, Chief Deputy Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General
·         Kimberly Lettner of FarmvilleRetired Chief of Police, Division of Capitol Police
·         William R. Richardson, Jr. of Arlington, Member, Virginia CURE; Retired partner, Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr LLP.
·         Cheryl Robinette of Buchanan, Director of Substance Abuse Services, Cumberland Mountain Community Services Board
·         Mira Signer of Richmond, Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness of Virginia
·         Faye S. Taxman, Ph.D.,  of Gaithersburg, MD, Professor, George Mason University
·         David R. Lett of Richmond, Public Defender, Petersburg Public Defender’s Office
·         Meredith Farrar-Owens of Henrico, Director, Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission
·         Sandra M. Brandt of Norfolk, Executive Director, STEP-UP inc.
·         Alvin Edwards, Ph.D, of Charlottesville, Pastor, Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church
·         Jack Gravely, JD. of Richmond, Executive Director, Virginia State NAACP
·         Bobby N. Vassar of Richmond, Chief Counsel (Retired), U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime
·         Timothy J. Heaphy of Charlottesville, Partner, Hunton & Williams, former United States Attorney for the Western District of Virginia
·         Mindy M. Stell of Dinwiddie, President, Virginia Victim Assistance Network
·         Thomas M. Wolf of Richmond, Partner, LeClairRyan
Ex-Officio Members:

·         Tonya Chapman of Richmond, Deputy Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security
·         Karen Brown of Richmond, Chair, Virginia Parole Board
·         Harold Clarke of Richmond, Director, Virginia Department of Corrections
·         Francine Ecker of Richmond, Director, Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services
·         Margaret Schultze of Richmond, Commissioner, Virginia Department of Social Services


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Gloucester County, Va. vs. the ACLU

The ACLU is trying to tell Gloucester County that its public school students must be allowed to share restrooms without considering biological make up. When the School Board recently enacted fair and reasonable restroom use policies the ACLU filed complaints with federal agencies with an argument designed to jeopardize federal education money entitlements.
Their complaint refers to news reports as supporting evidence. Many news reports on such stories are typically one sided, lack evidence and are sensationalized just like most of the reports surrounding this issue. This tactic is used to inflame their arguments. The ACLU’s complaint is full of inaccuracies and speculative assertions. Their complaint contains descriptions of words and comments inconsistent with the context intended by the People who spoke the comments.
Why didn’t the ACLU include the videos of School Board meetings in their complaint? If they referred to the videos they would not be able to put their desired spin on their argument. They would not be able to twist the facts like they have. The word “freak”, spoken publicly by one of the People, is mentioned in negative context multiple times in the complaint. When the speaker used the word he was interrupted by the School Board Chairperson before he could complete what he was saying. Had the Chairperson truly been listening to what the person was saying and allowed him to complete his words instead of being more concerned about how much time the speaker had remaining, he would have realized the speaker was not personally attacking anyone. Maybe the Chairperson and the ACLU should learn the definition of the word “freak” (a sudden and odd or seemingly pointless idea or turn of the mind; the product of freakish thought or action; an irregular or abnormal product of some process, or, specifically, of the laws of nature.) and watch the School Board meeting videos.
The complaint suggests students did not express concerns to school personnel during the month the school Principle allowed the transgender student to use opposite sex restrooms. During the last School Board meeting several male students spoke against and expressed their discomfort with the idea of sharing their restroom with a biological female. One student specifically mentioned a fear of reprisals from the school system for addressing his discomfort at the public hearing and another even apologized for expressing his feelings and opinion. How many other students are in such fear of dealing with the “government” of their school system as to be afraid to express themselves freely in public? When students have a problem with certain issues about school they generally talk with their parents about it. It is the parents’ role to represent them to the government like many parents did. The ACLU asserts that adults are the ones most vocal against such restroom sharing. This is a fact and rightfully so. We as adults are the legal decision makers for all children under the age of 18. We are the children’s parents, mentors, teachers, neighbors and more. The ACLU has no standing in our places as adult People, Citizens and taxpayers of Gloucester County. They are not stakeholders by any means. The use of education money as leverage in situations such as this amounts to nothing short of blackmailing the People with their own money and at the expense of public education. The People and Citizens of Gloucester, through our elected School Board, have enacted well balanced rules on restroom use in our public schools without the assistance of the ACLU and the federal government. Their involvement is not necessary or desired. Gloucester’s newly established rules should be the model for all public schools as they offer every student a place to use the restroom while maintaining the moral biological separation desired by the overwhelming majority of adults and youth in the community.

Kenneth E. Hogge, Sr.
Gloucester Point

(Our Notes:  We have filed multiple counter claims to the ACLU's complaints with the federal civil liberties court.  You can too.  A link below to the story where we did this has a form you can copy and make slight modifications to and then send to the address on the form.)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Federal District Court Judge Incapable Of Reading Simple Words - Free Bible Bonus

U.S. Supreme Court building.
U.S. Supreme Court building. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Federal Court Says Pittsylvania County Violated Citizen’s Religious Liberty with Meeting-Opening Sectarian Prayers;


Danville, VAFederal District Court Judge Michael Urbanski today ruled that the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors violated the First Amendment rights of ACLU of Virginia client Barbara Hudson by opening meetings with prayers that favored one set of religious beliefs over others.

“This ruling sends a clear message to localities that government officials may not impose their own religious beliefs on the entire community by leading sectarian prayers at public meetings,” said ACLU of Virginia Legal Director Rebecca Glenberg.  “The Supreme Court and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals have ruled repeatedly that our right to religious liberty precludes the government from expressing favor for one set of beliefs over others.  It is, indeed, unfortunate that, given the clarity of the law, Pittsylvania County  officials would choose  to waste time and tax payer dollars in an unnecessary lawsuit, rather than simply conform their behavior to well-settled law,” Glenberg added.

“Despite the clarity of the law, we continue to receive too many complaints that public officials in cities and counties across the Commonwealth are engaging in government-sponsored sectarian prayers at public meetings,” said ACLU of Virginia Executive Director Claire GastaƱaga.  “Local governments across the Commonwealth should take note of this decision and the thousands of tax payer dollars that will be spent paying our legal fees.  Legislative bodies may open their meetings with prayers if those prayers do not refer to particular religious beliefs or prefer some beliefs over others. Such a policy can, however, be very difficult to implement legally in practice.  That’s why we encourage localities that want to have an invocation to consider having a moment of silence.  A moment of silence can still solemnize the meeting by providing a brief period of reflection, and lets everyone who is present, both believers and non-believers, use the moment as they choose,” advised GastaƱaga.

The controversy in Pittsylvania began in August 2011, when Ms. Hudson notified the ACLU that the Board of Supervisors began each meeting with a Christian prayer, delivered by Board members on a rotating basis.  The ACLU wrote a letter to the Board explaining that this practice violated the First Amendment under the clear precedents of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which state that government bodies must not engage in official sectarian prayers.

After the Board made clear that it would continue holding sectarian prayers, Ms. Hudson filed suit in federal court.  In February 2012, Judge Urbanski denied the County’s motion to dismiss the case, and granted a preliminary injunction to Hudson, forbidding the Board of Supervisors “from invoking the name of a specific deity associated with any one specific faith or belief in prayers given at Board meetings” while the lawsuit was pending.  Since the injunction was issued, the Board has been opening its meetings with silent prayer.

Judge Urbanski ordered the case to mediation in December 2012.  Following failed mediation efforts, Judge Urbanski issued his ruling on March 27, 2013.
In its opinion, the court enjoined the Board of Supervisors from repeatedly opening its meetings with prayers associated with any one religion, which practice has the unconstitutional ‘effect of affiliating the government with any one specific faith or belief.’
The court also noted that the decision did not “indicate a hostility toward religion or toward prayer.” Quoting the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Urbanksi wrote: “The founders of our nation, possessing faith in the power of prayer . . . led the fight for adoption of our Constitution and also for our Bill of Rights with the very  guarantees of religious freedom that forbid the sort of governmental activity which [the Board] has attempted here.”
Hudson was represented by Glenberg and by ACLU of Virginia cooperating attorney Frank M. Feibelman. The ACLU of Virginia will be seeking attorney’s fees and costs.
A copy of the District Court’s Memorandum Opinion can be found online at: https://acluva.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/20130327PittsylvaniaDistCtOpinion.pdf


Our Notes:  How long are we going to continue to allow insane judges and insane attorneys to ignore very simple words from the 1st amendment of our Bill of Rights.  Freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of the press.  All 3 go hand in hand.  You take away freedom of religion you are also taking away freedom of speech and freedom of the press all at the same time.  No exceptions.  If Federal District Court Judge Michael Urbanski can not read the simple text of the 1st amendment to the Bill of Rights, maybe he needs to be given a very long vacation and taught to read.

  Dictators need not hear bad cases.  Would these people prefer opening board meetings with prayer from the satanic bible?  This is a Christian Nation founded on Christian principles.  If the prayer is non denominational, in Christian faith, then it makes no difference.  Can the Christian Faith as the prefered faith of this nation be argued and won?  Without question, YES!  Are other faiths blacked out from prayer because of this?  No.  The argument is not sound from the ACLU nor from the judge.

It's time to fight back from the tyranny of stupidity and false arguments.   By the way, laws in violation of the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights are not laws and do not have to be followed.  We recommend that Pittsylvania continue in it's practice ignoring anything the court has stated as the court itself is in violation of the Bill of Rights in our view.  Barbara Hudson can move to Russia for freedom from religion if that is what she seeks.


Free downloads are available on this bible from either our SlideShare account or 
Choose the free user option and download your free copy.  Send a copy to the judge, he needs some reading exercises while taking that needed vacation coming up.

The separation of church and state is so that one could not control the other, period.  It did not preclude prayer from one denomination over another.  It's like claiming that even though a Catholic priest said the opening prayer, the Catholic church now has complete control over the entire US Federal government.  It's hogwash.  If all board members at a Board of Supervisor's meeting proved to all be jewish and by consent of the public they were all voted in, then by consent, the jewish leaders at the board would have a fair argument to have jewish prayers open each meeting.  Consent of the governed.  One person does not make consent in totality, only in minority.  Let Pittsylvania wrest the case of consent and not some Federal District Court Judge dunderhead.  

  It's government by the people, for the people and of the people by consent of the people.  Not some dictatorship in some banana republic by the few for the few.  Oh by the way, congress opens it's meetings with prayers, anyone want to attack them?  I didn't think so.
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Monday, July 15, 2013

Governor McDonnell Announces Process for Automatic Restoration of Voting and Civil Rights for Non-Violent Felons

English: Governor of Virginia at CPAC in .
English: Governor of Virginia at CPAC in . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Governor McDonnell: “Starting today, those who have served their time, paid all fines, costs, and restitution and met other court-ordered conditions, will be able to regain their voting and civil rights as quickly as possible through a process that is automatic and individualized.”

RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell today announced the procedures for automatically restoring, on an individualized basis, civil rights to non-violent felons.  The process was established with the help of multiple recommendations by stakeholder groups and affected agencies. 

On May 29th Governor McDonnell announced that he would implement an automatic restoration process, within the confines of Virginia law, to those who meet the following conditions: 1) completion of their sentence, probation or parole; 2) payment of all court costs, fines, restitution, and completion of other court-ordered conditions, and 3) have no pending felony charges.

Speaking about restoration of rights, Governor McDonnell commented, “As a former prosecutor and attorney general, I strongly believe that the foremost priority of government is the safety and protection of our citizens.  When people commit crimes, they must be punished in accordance with the law.  But once they have served their time and fully paid for their crimes, they should be given an opportunity to return to their lives as full participants in our society.  That is why we have implemented an effective statewide prisoner re-entry program to help prepare offenders to return to their communities as productive law-abiding citizens.  A critical component of ensuring the security and protection of our citizens is reducing recidivism.  Over 90% of inmates will be released from prison back into society.  By making sure we have an effective system in place to give past offenders the opportunity to resume their lives as productive citizens, we can better keep them from committing another crime and returning to prison.  This reduces victimization and prison expansion and is smart government.”

Governor McDonnell continued, “These new procedures announced today govern the logistical and technical processes by which the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office will administer the automatic restoration of rights system.”

Governor McDonnell concluded, “Starting today, those who have served their time, paid all fines, costs, and restitution and met other court-ordered conditions, will be able to regain their voting and civil rights as quickly as possible through a process that is automatic and individualized.  I want to applaud the great work of the stakeholder working group whose ideas helped us develop this new process, as well as the affected state and local agencies who have worked hard over the last 45 days to implement the new system.  Through this system, those presently being released from incarceration or probation, who qualify, will have their civil rights automatically restored.  For past offenders, our goal is to grant civil rights back to as many as possible through the end of this administration.  This is the right thing to do for all Virginians to help make the Commonwealth a safer and better place.”

At the May announcement, in addition to announcing the general criteria, the governor tasked the Secretary of the Commonwealth to work with stakeholders, affected state agencies and other appropriate organizations to develop a smooth transition from an application system to an automatic system, with an announcement of the administrative processes to be made July 15th

Secretary of the Commonwealth Janet Kelly added, “Having stakeholder and state agency collaboration was invaluable in solving the complex challenges of transitioning to an automatic restoration of rights system.  The Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office had been working internally on the transition for several months, but there were several significant obstacles for which we needed creative solutions. The biggest challenge involved locating felons who had been out of the legal system for years or even decades.  We could easily find the felons who were currently in the system or who had previously expressed an interest in getting their rights back.  However, there is no accurate comprehensive database of felons who are not currently in the legal or corrections system and have been released from probation, and the stakeholder group helped us to find creative solutions to meet that challenge.”

            “Governor McDonnell’s plan creates a path for many people, who have paid their debt to society, to fully participate in society and stand alongside their neighbors at the voting booth,” said Advancement Project Co-Director Penda D. Hair. “As we continue outreach work with our partners throughout Virginia, informing eligible individuals about the new rights restoration process and connecting them with the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office, the new policy will go a long way in helping people finally get back their most fundamental of rights. We are pleased to hear the Governor has committed sufficient resources to automatically restore rights to the 500 to 700 eligible people completing their sentences every month. This will help stem the tide of disenfranchisement, while the additional resources he has added chip away at the hundreds of thousands of Virginians who have previously lost their rights.”  Advancement Project was part of the working group who made recommendations to the new system.

Criteria for Automatic Restoration of Rights
(Announced May 29th)

·         Have been convicted of a non-violent felony in a Virginia court, or in a U.S. District Court, military court or a court of another state or territory;
·         Have completed serving the prison sentence and been released from probation or parole, and;
·         And, have paid all court costs, fines to the Commonwealth and restitution to the victims, satisfied other court-ordered conditions, and have no pending felony charges.


General Process for Automatic Restoration of Rights effective July 15th

·         Over the past 45 days, the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office (SOC) has met with stakeholder groups to get their input and recommendations.  Many of their recommendations were implemented through this new process including:
1.      Ways to connect with past felons who have been out of the legal system for years or decades.
·         A contact form is currently on the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website.  The form can be mailed to:
Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
Restoration of Rights Division
P.O. Box 2454
Richmond, VA 23218
or faxed to (804) 786-9549.   Forms will be made available at probation and parole offices as well.
·         A web-based form that will allow for direct submission online will be available by August 1st.   It will be available at: www.commonwealth.virginia.gov/ror
·         A toll free number (1-855-575-9177) is also available for people who do not have access to a computer or would prefer to call and provide the information necessary to ensure the criteria is met.
2.      Keeping the majority of statutory burglary and breaking and entering offenses as non-violent crimes eligible for automatic restoration of rights.  More serious types of statutory burglary and breaking and entering such as those with the intent to commit serious bodily harm or entering with a deadly weapon will be moved to the violent offenses list.
3.      Redirecting resources targeted at state agencies who conduct criminal background checks, and other suggestions for reducing bottlenecks in the process.
4.      Upgrading technology at the State Board of Elections to prevent manual data entry and allow for electronic updates each week (to be funded and completed soon).
5.      Implementing an advertising and outreach component that will be conducted with the assistance of the stakeholders.
6.      Working with clerks of court to ensure that any information needed from them is produced in a timely manner.
·         Due to the increase in requests that the SOC is anticipating, staff will be processing requests just as quickly as possible. SOC has added 4 additional staff and has worked to streamline business processes in preparation for the increased volume of requests. Some limited additional resources have been designated to other state agencies who assist with the ROR process.
·         Individuals must receive their rights restoration order from the Governor before they submit a voter registration application. Individuals who have their rights restored should still register to vote, as non-felon citizens are required to do.
·         SOC will be sending names of those who have had their rights restored on a weekly basis to State Board of Elections. 
·         Additional Information, including the Contact Form and  FAQ’s on the new process can be found at: www.commonwealth.virginia.gov/ror

Pending/Present Offenders:
·         For those non-violent offenders who submitted an application prior to or right after the May 29th announcement, the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office is working on processing these requests as quickly as possible. 
·         For those non-violent offenders whose prior application had been denied or deemed ineligible during the McDonnell Administration, Restoration of Rights staff has completed their inventory of those files, and for those who are now eligible, they are working to process those request as quickly as possible.
·         These felons do not need to provide the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office any additional information unless they are contacted by the office for clarification.

Past Non-Violent Offenders Whose Rights Have Not Been Restored:
·         Virginia does not have an accurate, comprehensive list of all the non-violent felons who are no longer in the legal or corrections system and where they are located – therefore, we have established a mechanism by which individuals can contact the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office.
·         For those who have had non-violent felony convictions in the past, they can contact the Secretary’s Office by one of three ways:
o   Contact Form (available online): An individual can fill out this form and mail it in to the Secretary of the Commonwealth.  The contact form has basic information that staff needs to move forward with their request
o   Hotline (1-855-575-9177): Restoration of Rights staff will be able to take down the information needed to move forward with their request
o   Web Portal (www.commonwealth.virginia.gov/ror): The web portal will be active by August 1st.  Individuals can submit online the information needed to move forward with their request.

Process for Future Individuals Released from Incarceration:
·         These are individuals who are either being released from incarceration under Department of Corrections or being released from supervised probation under Department of Corrections. 
·         Beginning with May 2013, the Department of Corrections will identify offenders who are to be released that month as indicated above and who may qualify for automatic rights restoration based on the Governor’s criteria. 
·         After ensuring the criteria have been met, SOC will process individual grant orders to either the last known address or the home plan address.


History of Restoration of Rights under Governor McDonnell

·         As a candidate for Governor in 2009, Governor McDonnell pledged to implement the fastest and fairest system for the restoration of civil rights in modern Virginia history, with a self-imposed deadline to have decisions made within 90 days. 
·         In 2010, after reviewing the process, he rolled out a voluntary deadline to have decisions within 60 days of receipt of completed applications and reduce the waiting time from three years to two years. 
·         Governor McDonnell has already granted rights to 5,235 people.  Governor Tim Kaine granted right to 4,402 people; Governor Mark Warner granted rights to 3,486 people. 
·         Since the May 29th announcement of automatic restoration of rights, 423 rights were granted for felons who had previously applied with the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office.
·         Because of the constitutional issues, the new procedures are as automatic as possible within his authority as governor and within existing Virginia law. 
·         Governor McDonnell also instituted, in the Department of Corrections and Department of Juvenile Justice, with assistance from several other state agencies, local partners, and private as well as non-profit and faith based organizations, a national model program for prisoner re-entry that centers on preparing offenders for release back into their communities as productive members of society.  
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