Public Comments for 01/20/2021 Courts of Justice - Criminal Subcommittee
HB2017 - Juvenile offenders; youth justice diversion programs, report.
Last Name: Green Locality: Covington

Chairman and Members of the Committee, I strongly disagree with HB2017. We, as a society, need to start asking ourselves why our children would need to go to “youth court”. Is there a problem at home ? Are they being bullied at school? Are they hungry or homeless? Do they have a disability? Did they take their medication or are they having a reaction to medication? Youth court is not the answer.

Last Name: Green Locality: Covington

Chairman and Members of the Committee, I strongly disagree with HB2017. We, as a society, need to start asking ourselves why our children would need to go to “youth court”. Is there a problem at home ? Are they being bullied at school? Are they hungry or homeless? Do they have a disability? Did they take their medication or are they having a reaction to medication? Youth court is not the answer.

Last Name: Wheeling Organization: LRIDD Locality: Haymarket, Virginia

Autism is a short circuit in the brain. There is no cure for Autism, just like there is no cure for Down’s Syndrome. There are ways to improve behavior, there are ways to teach and educate, and there are ways to protect and ensure the future for people who suffer from Intellectual and Learning Disabilities. It is not their fault that they were born this way… How a person with a disability thinks, learns, socializes, their strengths and weaknesses, are not necessarily something they can control. It is the mental version of being blind. In many ways, those who have Autism, are more likely to be endangered, abused, bullied, taken advantage of, manipulated, tricked, etc and so on, because they do not learn and comprehend this World of so-called “social norms”. We have spoken to countless people regarding cases such as these. No one we have spoken to believes that someone with Autism, should be put in the prison system, for a crime that was never committed. That would be a major injustice. That would be a horrible injustice and for someone with Autism, that they would never recover from. Never, would I ever, believe that I have to save the Vulnerable from our Justice System. We believe in protecting the Vulnerable – which includes – Children, the Elderly and the Ones with Intellectual and Learning Disabilities. Senator Stuart said, and I quote, “It is clear that individuals, most often children or young adults, who have been diagnosed with Autism, or an intellectual disability by a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist, call for special consideration during the judicial process.” I could not agree more with that statement… I support this bill, wholeheartedly... Cynthia J. Wheeling

Last Name: Bridgham Locality: Virginia Beach

We need a way to stop this online predators in our community.

Last Name: Wilson Organization: City of Newport News Locality: Franklin City

The City of Newport News strongly supports HB 2017 to allow for the creation of a youth peer diversion program. Restorative justice programs such as peer diversion have the potential to reduce a young person's future involvement with the criminal justice system by allowing first time offenders to be sanctioned by a group of their peers who have been appropriately trained to do so. For many, this is an opportunity to avoid juvenile court and and a formal juvenile record. The peer diversion program provides a more positive interaction for the offender and a learning opportunity for the young people involved.

Last Name: Lambert Organization: Roanoke Community Bail Fund Locality: Salem

I strongly urge you to vote No on HB2152! The only people this bill benefits is the parasitic bail bonds industry which profits off of poor and largely Black & Brown Virginians being locked up pretrial. This bill is grossly shameful and will only harm those who are already the most systemically harmed & exploited.

Last Name: Kelly Harris-Braxton Organization: VIRGINIA FIRST CITIES COALITION Locality: City of Richmond

Virginia First Cities (VFC) supports HB 2017 because it is a program that reduces youthful contacts with the criminal justice system. Avoiding incarceration leads to better outcomes for children and removes the stigma of a criminal conviction. We support this novel diversionary program for non-violent youth because it focuses on restitution, rehabilitation, accountability, education, and competency building. As VFC promotes community wealth building for citizens and self-sufficiency, this program will help to ensure that a student’s record is not a barrier in their lives. A criminal record can be devastating to opportunities in education and employment.

HB2018 - Emergency order for adult protective services; acts of violence, force, or financial exploitation.
Last Name: Bridgham Locality: Virginia Beach

We need a way to stop this online predators in our community.

Last Name: Lambert Organization: Roanoke Community Bail Fund Locality: Salem

I strongly urge you to vote No on HB2152! The only people this bill benefits is the parasitic bail bonds industry which profits off of poor and largely Black & Brown Virginians being locked up pretrial. This bill is grossly shameful and will only harm those who are already the most systemically harmed & exploited.

Last Name: Varky Organization: Virginia Poverty Law Center Locality: Richmond

VPLC supports Delegate Mullin's HB 2018, including the two substitutes to reference 19.2-152.7:1's definition of "acts of violence, force, or threat..." and 63.2-1696's definition of "financial exploitation." I would be happy to work with the Chair and subcommittee members on any other language to support this bill.

Last Name: Kelly Organization: MPAC Locality: Baltimore

CURRENT VIRGINIA LAW prohibits arrest or prosecution of certain drug-related offenses only to an individual who seeks or obtains emergency medical attention for himself or another individual or who is experiencing an overdose when another individual seeks or obtains emergency medical attention for him. HB 1821 expands these protections to include prohibiting arrest and prosecution of other individuals, acting in good faith, who render medical assistance during an overdose. This bill will allow individuals who need assistance with advocating for special services for treatment versus being incarcerated and not getting the help that is needed. The system needs to understand that information and knowledge of resources about overdose awareness is vital to the community at large.

HB2233 - Orders of restitution; docketed on behalf of victim, enforcement.
Last Name: Bridgham Locality: Virginia Beach

We need a way to stop this online predators in our community.

Last Name: Lambert Organization: Roanoke Community Bail Fund Locality: Salem

I strongly urge you to vote No on HB2152! The only people this bill benefits is the parasitic bail bonds industry which profits off of poor and largely Black & Brown Virginians being locked up pretrial. This bill is grossly shameful and will only harm those who are already the most systemically harmed & exploited.

End of Comments