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LOCAL Announcement :: Prisons

Action Alert: No More Prisons in VA

No More Prisons in Virginia
Fund Education and Rehabilitation Not Warehousing

Join Grayson County, VA residents and prison justice organizations to stop the construction of a $100 million dollar prison along the New River.
No More Prisons in Virginia
Fund Education and Rehabilitation Not Warehousing

Governor Tim Kaine has proposed spending $100 million dollars to build a new prison in VA. The proposal is to construct a 1,024 bed medium security facility in Grayson County along the pristine New River. Residents of Grayson County and prison justice organizations are mobilizing to stop the governor’s plan. WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Please add your voice to the struggle. Grayson County residents have initiated a letter writing campaign. They are asking that people call, write, fax, and e-mail Governor Kaine and other officials opposing the proposed prison.

Below is a sample letter crafted by VA Prison Justice, suggested comments from Grayson County residents, and contact information for Kaine and others. Feel free to use the sample letter in part or in whole. Also, there is an online petition opposing the prison at www.coxchapelgrange.org Please take a few minutes and register your opposition to the proliferation of the racist, unjust prison system.

In struggle and solidarity,
VA Prison Justice
Sean O’Hern
vaprisonjustice (at) riseup.net

***********sample letter************

Governor Tim Kaine,

I am writing to express my opposition to the proposed new state prison to be built in Grayson County. I am aware that you have estimated that a $100 million dollars be allocated to construct a medium-security prison on the New River. There are many reasons I object to and oppose this proposal.

The stated logic behind the need for this prison is flawed. Although no one can debate that the prison population in Virginia is growing, that does not necessarily mean that our state needs to create more bed space for incoming prisoners. There are several steps that can be taken to ease prison population growth, satisfy the needs of current prisoners, and ensure public safety. For example, as I am sure you are aware, there are over 6,000 prisoners who are eligible for parole throughout our state. However, the Parole Board has been summarily denying almost all of these prisoners even their basic right to show their progress and rehabilitation. Many of these prisoners could be safely released back into society, easing overcrowding across the state and undermining the “need? for more prison construction.

Additionally, we must ask ourselves the question, “Are prisons the best way to ensure public safety?? Today the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Many prisoners are not receiving the services, education, and programs they need while in prison to reintegrate back into society and hence the high rates of recidivism. The $100 million would be better spent on education for at-risk youth and prisoners. This massive sum could also go towards funding re-entry programs, restorative justice programs, and community-led alternatives to incarceration. In many places these innovative projects are taking hold and having positive results.

The New River is well-known for its natural beauty and is enjoyed by many residents and tourists alike. Environmental tourism and outdoor recreational activities are rapidly growing industries, offering a boost to the local economy of Grayson County. Constructing a prison on such an indigenous treasure would degrade the public enjoyment of the river and forever alter the ecosystem. The construction of this prison would destroy smart, sustainable economic development that could truly benefit the whole community.

I am against the proliferation of a prison system that is infected with institutionalized racism. Even the quickest glance at incarceration rates, sentencing statistics, and the effects of racial profiling show that low-income communities of color are targeted by “Tough on Crime? policies. We as a society can not continue to accept such injustice.

Many in Grayson County and around the state oppose the proposed prison for a multiplicity of reasons, only a few of which are touched on here. More prison construction does nothing to address the underlining problems that are facing our society. Funding prison construction over education and rehabilitative needs is a cynical policy lacking positive vision and continuing in the wrong direction.

I strongly oppose the proposed prison and insist that we put these resources to work for all Virginians by funding projects that will have a constructive impact on public safety in both the short and long term.


CC: Ms. Kim Lipp, VA DOC; Sterling Proffitt, VA Board of Corrections; Commercial Corrections Solutions; D.K. “Doug? Carrico

Addresses for Letter Writing Campaign To Governor Tim Kaine
For More Information: www.coxchapelgrange.org/

The Honorable Tim Kaine
Office of the Governor
Patrick Henry Building, 3rd floor
1111 East Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23219

Ms. Kim Lipp
Virginia Department of Corrections
6900 Atmore Drive
Richmond, VA 23261

John W. Marshall
Virginia Department of Public Safety
Patrick Henry Building
1111 East Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23219

Mr. Preston Bryant
Secretary of Natural Resources
Office of the Secretary of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 1475
Richmond, VA 23218

Senator William C. Wampler, Jr.
510 Cumberland Street, Ste. 308
Bristol, TN 24201-4381

Senator John H. Chichester**
Finance Committee Chairman
P.O. Box 904
Fredricksburg, VA 22404

Senator Walter A. Stosch**
In-session address:
General Assembly Building, Room 621
Capitol Square
Richmond, Virginia 23219
(804) 698-7512
Mailing address:
Innsbrook Centre
4551 Cox Road
Suite 110
Glen Allen, Virginia 23060-6740
(804) 527-7780

Sterling Proffitt, Chairman**
Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Corrections
6900 Atmore Drive
Richmond Virginia, 23225

Jimmy Burrell, Vice Chairman**
Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Corrections
6900 Atmore Drive
Richmond Virginia, 23225

Bobby Mitchell, Secretary**
Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Corrections
6900 Atmore Drive
Richmond Virginia, 23225

Local Officials
Charles W. “Bill� Carrico
1139 Turkey Knob Road
Fries, VA 24330
276-744-7925 - Home
276-773-9600 – Office

Mr. Ralph Tuggle
848 Black Rock Mountain Lane
Independence, VA 24348

Mr. Mike Maynard
550 Little Wilson Road
Mouth of Wilson, VA 24363

Mr. D.K. “Doug� Carrico
2450 Old Baywood Road
Galax, VA 24333
276-238-8826 - Office
276-238-8844 - Home

Larry K. Bartlett
94 Pondside Lane
Galax, VA 24333

Joe Vaughn
2948 Clito Road
Fries, VA 42333
276-744-7255 Home

Commercial Corrections Solutions
3924 Pender Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030


Phone calls, letters, e-mails and chance meetings or discussions will be helpful and promote understanding of the issue. Please use any resource or opportunity to share information with County and State officials.
The issue statement will serve as a base of information and the following statements are suggested for your use. Please feel free to use any and all information as you communicate in your own style and words.

A. Please help my neighbors and me in defeating the proposed site for a prison. Locating a prison on the New River and in Grayson County will be a devastating way to provide jobs, most of which will not go to present residents, but to those experienced in prison management.

B. A correctional facility on the New River will diminish the recreational experience of visitors and residents
alike. As one of America’s Heritage Rivers, the New River is one of the few in the United States that can be
experienced as a natural waterway and is an American treasure.

C. Grayson County is blessed with natural beauty and is well-known for the scenic terrain of Grayson Highlands State Park, Mt. Rogers and the New River. Placing a prison here would forever send a negative message to residents and visitors.

D. The site in Cox’s Chapel Community will incur substantial costs for a bridge and new roads that would be
invasive on private property and community residents. The expense for construction would add increased financial responsibilities to this already expensive project.

E. A great deal of money has been spent on preserving the New River, its communities and its heritage. Building economic strength through tourism with the establishment of the heritage music trail The Crooked Road and the artisan network ‘Round the Mountain, growth and progress has come with small and well-planned steps. Grayson County needs balanced and planned growth to enhance present opportunities.

F. The prison would forever bring a negative change to the human, natural and economical environment to the
second oldest river in the world.

Please share this information with your incarcerated love one and others. United we stand, divided we fall.

Resource Information Help for the Disadvantaged(RIHD)
Prisoner Self Help Rehabilitation
PO Box 55 - Highland Springs - Virginia 23075
(804) 562-2123 www.rihd.org

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