It’s time to put Virginia’s prisons on trial!

News release from the tribunal’s organizers.

On Oct. 7, 2023, the Virginia Prison Justice Network and The Virginia Defenders For Freedom, Justice & Equality will co-sponsor the People’s Tribunal on Virginia’s Prisons, Jails & Detention Centers, an all-day hearing to be held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

Testimony about injustices in the state’s prisons, jails and immigrant detention centers will be presented by prisoners, formerly incarcerated individuals, family members and advocates. The testimony will be heard by a panel of judges from the legal profession, academia, the religious community and more.

After the Tribunal, a report will be published and presented to every candidate for the 2023 election to the Virginia General Assembly, and every candidate will be asked to take a position on the proposal to create an Independent Outside Oversight Body to oversee all places of confinement in the state.

The goal is to make Prison Justice an issue that can’t be ignored in the election, when every seat will be on the ballot and more than a third are expected to change hands. For a more detailed explanation of the People’s Tribunal, see page 8 of the Spring 2023 edition of The Virginia Defender newspaper at

You can help! Show your support by marking yourself “Going” on this Facebook page. Invite others to attend. If you represent an organization, endorse the Tribunal. Spread the word through social media. And to endorse or volunteer to help, call or text the Virginia Defenders at 804-644-5834 or email us at

Solidarity with all our sisters and brothers behind the walls! This is the year! Now is the time! All out for the People’s Tribunal!

For a list of the community judges and a full list of the supporters of the tribunal, see  


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