Virginia | FAMM


FAMM is working in Virginia to roll back the state’s harsh sentencing laws and to promote our Second Chances Agenda. You can read more about our work in Virginia below.

Read the stories of real people who’ve been impacted by Virginia’s criminal justice system to learn more about why we’re working for reform in the state:

Jesse Dunaway

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Matthew Rushin

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2020 Special Session

SB 5046 – Mandatory Minimum Reform

If passed, SB 5046 would have eliminated all mandatory minimum sentences in Virginia. Unfortunately, this bill did not make it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

SB 5018 – Conditional Release for Terminally Ill Prisoners

If passed, SB 5018 would extend conditional release to some prisoners who have a terminal illness with an end-of-life trajectory of 12 months. The bill was amended to exclude people who had committed many offenses from eligibility. Please read our summary to understand who qualifies under SB 5018.

Virginia Redemption Project

This project is the product of a joint commitment and shared resources from the NACDL, ACLU of Virginia, FAMM, Justice Forward, Legal Aid Justice Center, and the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

The purpose of this project is to match currently incarcerated individuals with pro bono (free) lawyers to assist them in submitting clemency petitions to the Governor for conditional pardon. A Governor can grant conditional pardon to modify or end a sentence imposed by the court. The Governor only grants a conditional pardon when there is substantial evidence of extraordinary circumstances to warrant it. As a result of the settlement agreement in Whorley v. Northam, , the Governor and Secretary of the Commonwealth agreed to prioritize conditional pardons and to actively identify and expedite consideration of petitions that reference medical concerns, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have a loved one incarcerated in Virginia, serving a state (not federal) prison sentence, you can learn more here about the Virginia Redemption Project and who can participate.

How You Can Advocate for Sentencing Reform in Virginia

Encourage your state lawmakers to support mandatory minimum sentencing reform. Be sure to connect with FAMM on FacebookTwitter, and by signing up for our email list.

Visit our Justice Now Action Center to learn more about our advocacy across the nation.