COVID-19

General Assembly Special Secession, by John Seay

First I hope all are practicing social distancing and taking safety precautions during this covid-19 pandemic. This is like no other time in our countries history. Will continue praying for everyone and for a vaccine.

August 1st there will be a special secession in the Virginia General Assembly. This special secession is to address the covid-19 pandemic and to take another look at the criminal justice bills that were tabled back in March 2020.

If passed SENATE BILL 91 would reinstate parole and allow those eligible to go up before the parole board to present who they are now verses who they were when they committed their crimes. Bringing parole back doesn’t open the doors for everyone. It simply creates an avenue to present oneself before a board of professionals and have the opportunity to receive a second chance to live in society.

If passed HOUSE BILL1532 would create a new earned good credit conduct system. Right now the most anyone can earn under the current system is 4 1/2 days per 30 days served. This is why the jails and prisons are severely over crowded. This new proposed system in House Bill 1532 would weed out who is striving to get a second chance verses those who are not wanting to change. One would have to earn this increased good time not have any guarantee of any of it. Right now most of these guys have no incentive to do right, they only get 4 1/2 days at best no matter what they choose to do. This is why many still get high, rob, steal, fight, break rules etc. This system has long been broken so when are these legislators going to try something different?

Personally, I choose to do what is right no matter how much good time I’m getting because I wish to be a better human being. Still I pray for the opportunity to reenter society and give back to my community. These BILLS will provide an opportunity to do just that. All I’m asking for is an opportunity!

There’s many worthy of a second chance with no realistic avenue to pursue this because most of us are doing what we call “dead time”. Meaning we have learned our lesson, changed our thinking, and made positive strides toward rejoining society but have no legal avenue to do so. Therefore, some lose hope, take substances and some even commit suicide. While it is very sad when anyone takes his or her life, this is just the harsh reality of prison life. Hope is all I have and I will continue to hold onto my faith in Jesus Christ.

There’s many injustices in the judicial system. With these two bills becoming law, some of those injustices can be rectified. I can’t speak for everyone but I have work I wish to do once returned to society. Until then I will continue striving to be a better human being and helping those that I’m able to.

Now is the time for change so if you support these Bills you can contact those in the House of Delegates and the Senate by calling or emailing at:

Virginia Senate Clerk’s Office
(804) 698-7400 or by going to:
http://VirginiaGeneralAssembly.gov
&
House of Delegates Clerk’s Office
(804) 698-1619 or going to
http://VirginiaGeneralAssembly.gov

In order for these Bills to get passed, people whose votes count need to contact these legislator’s and let them know its time for some criminal justice reform. There’s no greater starting point than Senate Bill 91 and House Bill 1532.

Thanks for your time and hopefully support to bring hope and a future to many wasting away in Virginia’s prison system. God Bless!

John Seay
DOC #1186157

Categories: COVID-19, John Seay, parole

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