Public Comments for: HB733 - Juvenile records; identification of children receiving coordinated services.
Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, and committee members: Thank you for the opportunity to comment on HB 16 and thank you, Delegate Fowler, for your work updating our state’s Safe Haven law. We, Virginia is for Children (an advocacy group for the lives of vulnerable children in our state), are following the Safe Haven law efforts and are fully supportive of the extension to thirty days of age for infant relinquishment. This is a reasonable, standard amount of time for a mom/parent to conclude that they cannot parent their baby OR, change their mind and decide they can parent their baby. Such a significant, life-altering decision does not need to be rushed or hurried. We know that moms who have just given birth, especially those who are alone, need time to recover physically and emotionally. Moms can experience postpartum depression after the birth of child, this typically occurs within the first 1-3 weeks after birth, parents can be in desperate situations- experiencing homelessness, abuse, addiction and need time to get help. Twenty-one states are now at thirty days for age of relinquishment. Utah just extended their law to thirty days in February, 2020 and approved funding for safe haven law awareness. Extending this law can potentially save more infants from abuse, neglect, and abandonment and give parents the time they need to make important decisions. We hope the committee will approve the extension and consider providing state funding for safe haven law awareness and promotion of safe haven locations or “safe baby sites”. Not enough parents are informed about the law’s existence and the process involved. Our group is especially interested in a state funded, DSS promoted, 24-hour confidential, crisis hotline that would provide intervention and support for women in crisis pregnancies and struggling parents, so that they can get the help they need to parent their baby. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and committee members for your time and for the opportunity to voice our support of this bill. Sincerely, Leah Kipley VA is for Children
Not only is it minorities but also whites who seek justice for themselves as well as minorities. Originally from NC I moved to VA to finish a master degree at Regent University. Because of substance abuse and drug addiction off and on over the past 20 yrs, I have experience in both the criminal justice system and in areas of poor minority housing areas. What better way to show society I have been rehabilitated than stay sober and finish a master's degree I started in 2013. I also got involved with local African American pastors to try n change lives through love n hope. Not so fast . Instead only months after getting that masters degree and getting my NC k-12 teaching license reactivatd I was charged with 8 felonies for supposedly forging to checks from an elderly lady whom I was hired to give her dog diabetic shots twice a day everyday. I voluntary went to the investigating detective and gave an honest statement. A statement she supposedly " forgot to hit the record button on" . Add 8000 in attorneys fees and wat did I get. He's just a junkie who took advantage of an old lady. No showing my reformation. Instead 8 felonies with 5 years each felony all ran consecutive. 40 yrs 39 suspended. First felonies ever. No more school teacher possibilities or being a church worker+ masters in theology. All because I had a passionate voice for justice in a white privilege society while I myself lived in Newport news. And now I n my daughter ( who just got a BSN in nursing worries daily dad will have to do 39 yrs if he misses a po appt or has a relapse and gets a negative drug screen. (Especially in lieu he was victim of sexual assault by a retired naval officer which no one ever believe) The commonwealth is most oppressing state I have ever been in and having played div. one baseball in the early nineties I have been around the country. I gave since gotten more involved SO PLEASE DONT STOP THE MOMENTUM THAT THE COMMONWEALTH HAS MADE THE OAST 4 YEARS. VY PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND TO THE REALITY IF SOME LAWS N POLICE BEHAVIOR. ALL BECAUSE THEY ABD THIER FAMILIES GREW UP PRIVILEGED. I AM UNIQUE IN THAT I AM EDUCATED BUT ALSO A ADDICT WHO GAS LUVED IN THAT WIRKD. A WORLD WGEN RECENT THE COMMONWEALTH JUST SAW MY OAST RECORD, REFUSED TO SEE MY SIVRYN ACCOMPLISHED THE LAST 5 YEARS AND DIDN'T EVEN CONSIDER REHAB ( THAT BASED ON THIER ARGUMENT IFME BEING AN ADDICT. NO KETS JUST THROW HIM IN A 6 × 9 FIR ONE YEAR N HE WILL THINK TWICE BEFORE HE USES AGAIN. HIW F ARCHAIC IS THAT THOUGHT PROCESS. WE AS FIRMER ADDICTS AND CRIMINALS ( 99% DUE TO DRUG USE) ARE WILLING TO ADMIT OUR MISTAKES REPAY SOCIETY N MOVE FORWARD BUT UNFORTUNATELY THIS REVERSAL IN LEGISLATION WILL ONLY ADD TO TGE ONCE ANE POSSIBLE SOON TO BE OPPRESSIVE COMMONWEALTH FOR THE POOR UNEDUCATED N THISE WHI STRUGGLE WITH ADDICTION. IN CLOSING I LIVE IN A CONSERVATIVE COUNT N CITY NOW BUT THEY SEEM TO GET UT. NOT LIKE SOME OF THE OTHER PRODOMIATELY WHITE COMMUNITY. I AM ALWAYS AVAILABLE TO SHARE MY EXPERIENCES W ADDICTION N THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM KEEP TGE MOMENTUM GOING FOR CGANGE HOPE N REHABILITATION. NOT INCARCERATION. SOMETHING WE WOULD NOT EVEN DO TO STRAY ANIMALS