Building a Fairer, More Equitable Criminal Justice System That Works for All Virginians
As Virginia’s next governor, Terry will continue to work to reform a system that has disproportionately targeted and impacted Black and Brown Virginians for centuries. He will work to enshrine the automatic restoration of voting rights in Virginia’s constitution, equitably implement marijuana legalization, expand access to parole, reform outdated expungement laws, and create an Office for Returning Citizens. He will also work to rebuild trust between communities and law enforcement by increasing transparency and accountability, and investing in community policing initiatives, and body-worn camera programs. As governor, Terry will also solidify the transformation of Virginia’s juvenile justice system and investing in mental health and substance use disorder services.
As Virginia’s 72nd Governor, Terry bucked the status quo and championed progressive criminal justice reforms, despite facing relentless opposition from a Republican legislature. When Terry was governor, he restored more voting rights than any governor in American history – to 173,000 Virginians, and issued 227 pardons, more than any governor before him. Terry transformed Virginia’s juvenile justice system and reduced our incarcerated youth population by nearly two-thirds, and invested millions of dollars in reentry programs, alternatives to incarceration, and mental health and substance use disorder services. During Terry’s administration, Virginia achieved the lowest recidivism rate in the nation for the first time.
The Work Ahead
- Work with the Democratic legislature to pass a second resolution and Virginia voters to secure approval for a constitutional amendment enshrining the automatic restoration of rights in Virginia’s constitution.
- Equitably implement marijuana legalization, reinvesting revenues back into communities that have been impacted the most and ensuring equitable ownership opportunities in the new industry.
- Promote second chances by expanding access to parole, reforming outdated expungement laws and creating an Office for Returning Citizens.
- Rebuild trust between communities and law enforcement by improving transparency and accountability, investing in community policing initiatives and body-worn camera programs, and supporting accreditation for local agencies.