Community leaders have kicked off a “Mobile Justice Tour” to increase awareness on voting rights restoration and prisoner re-entry in the state.

8/13/2013, 11:46 a.m.

The organization will concentrate on several key issues which include civil rights restoration for convicted felons, ban the box which removes questions about an applicants criminal background from preliminary background checks and other efforts for successful prison re-entry.

Specific groups involved with this initiative are: Resource Information Help for the Disadvantaged (RIHD); Bridging the Gap in Virginia; Good Seed, Good Ground; Virginia Organizing; VA Alliance Against Mass Incarceration and the Advancement Project.

Also, MJT plans to focus on justice issues which impact individuals with criminal records.; civil rights restoration for people with felony convictions, eliminating criminal background checks from employment applications, and programs for ex-prisoner re-entry.

“While Virginia has made progress in recent years and months on civil rights restoration and fair hiring practices, many barriers remain across the state for people with criminal backgrounds,” said RIHD Executive Director and tour moderator Lillie Branch-Kennedy.

Also Branch-Kennedy stated, “Our tour will highlight the roadblocks that persist for people who have paid their debts to society, as well as illuminate solutions that have been proven to help reintegrate individuals back into our communities. Participating experts will also connect impacted individuals with direct services and resources to help assist in their re-entry, helping to create more productive citizens and fewer people returning to prison.”

Recently, Radio One’s Community Conversations featured Garry Ellis with the State Board of Elections and the Rolling for Freedom Project, Sandra Antoine, Grassroots and hostess Clovia "Miss Community" Lawrence which discussed the new criteria for restoration of rights for non-violent felons on an individualized basis. The show assisted listeners with filling out the contact form while on-air while stream the Rolling for Freedom Project on Community Conversations on Saturday, August 10, 2013 at 6 a.m. on www.praiserichmond.com and at 9 a.m on www.kissrichmond.com. Also, Sunday at 8 a.m. on ipowerrichmond.com

At each stop of the tour, re-entry policy experts will discuss restoration of rights, Ban the Box Employment Reform and successful prisoner re-entry. The tour will stop in Petersburg of Sept. 10 and in Richmond on Sept. 17.