The Valley Justice Coalition

is made up of residents of Rockingham County, the City of Harrisonburg and adjacent areas who are concerned about justice reforms in our community and in the commonwealth.

Vision:

A community engaged in reducing incarceration and recidivism.

Mission:

The Valley Justice Coalition animates the Harrisonburg/Rockingham community to engage in reducing incarceration and recidivism through public education, policy advocacy, coalition building, and grass roots organizing.

General Goals:

  1. To actively promote changes in policies and practices that currently contribute to over-incarceration.
  2. To encourage the implementation of justice reinvestment, restorative justice and other alternative programs.
  3. To promote humane treatment and a more family friendly environment for those currently affected by incarceration.
  4. To promote best practices that reduce recidivism.
  5. To support community programs that help reintegrate those affected by incarceration.

Action Steps:

  1. The Valley Justice Coalition endorses the general recommendations stated in the Criminal Justice Facts Statement of the Sentencing Project:
    1. Eliminating mandatory minimum sentences and cutting back on excessively lengthy sentences.
    2. Shifting resources to community-based prevention and treatment for substance abuse.
    3. Investing in interventions that promote strong youth development and respond to delinquency in age-appropriate and evidence-based ways.
    4. Examining and addressing the policies and practices that contribute to racial inequity at every level of the justice system.
    5. Removing barriers that make it harder for individuals with criminal records to make a successful reentry.
  2. The Valley Justice Coalition will also advocate for the implementation of rational policies and evidence-based practices, while supporting numerous, nationally recognized, correctional options, such as:

    1. Strengthening re-entry services.
    2. Expanding mental health treatment.
    3. Expanding substance abuse treatment.
    4. Investigating ways to reduce intake numbers.
    5. Generating reliable planning data.
    6. Investigating pre-trial confinement policies and practices.
    7. Increasing pre-trial and probation staff.
    8. Implementing community based sanctions and programs.
    9. Expanding the day-reporting program.
    10. Increasing system coordination, goal setting, and oversight.
    11. Improving assessment and diagnostic processes for offenders.
    12. Identifying alternatives to incarceration for non-compliant probationers.
    13. Expanding the application of Community Service for non-violent offenders.
    14. Pursuing national accreditation for all local jails and for Virginia prisons.