By Uhuru B. Rowe
November 6, 2017, Day 1 of Lockdown
It is 3:35 AM and we were just abruptly jolted from our sleep by the screams of a Sergeant making his rounds for count. “I need to see movement,” he screams, “so that I’ll know that you are alive.” Since arriving at Sussex 2 State Prison a little over a year ago, there have been a series of overdose deaths here and at other prions and correctional facilities across the state. The current opioid crisis affects, not just people in rural white communities, but also people in prisons. So during this count, on this particular day, we were instructed to move to show that we weren’t dead.
Continue reading “Sentiments of a Conscious Prisoner During Lockdown”
The Free Virginia Movement
By Uhuru B. Rowe, Founder
REVISED May 12, 2017
WHO WE ARE
The Free Virginia Movement is an Inside-Out/Outside-In all-inclusive, coalition-based statewide movment and organizing effort founded by incarcerated people in the Virginia Department of Corrections in solidarity with the class struggles of Black, Brown, poor, low-income, disenfranchised, and working class people, to redress inhumane and harsh prison conditions; racial, class, and gender bias in the criminal legal system; the effects of mass incarceration and felony disenfranchisement laws on Black, Brown, poor, low-income and working-class communities; and the miriad of other laws, policies, and practices and procedures which discriminates against people because of their race, class, gender, sexuality, nationality, age, or disability. We recognize that incarcerated, Black, Brown, poor, low-income, oppressed, disenfranchised, and working-class people, are all victims of capitalist oppression and exploitation, Inside and Outside of prisons.
Continue reading “The Free Virginia Movement”
By Uhuru B. Rowe
March 1, 2017
WHY THE FREE VIRGINIA MOVEMENT?
A Federal law known as the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (VCCLEA) includes a provision called the Violent Offender Incarceration and Truth in Sentencing Incentive Grants (VOITIS) which provides grants to state and local correctional systems to expand their capacity to incarcerate violent offenders and impose larger and more determinate sentences.
Continue reading “Announcing the Free Virginia Movement!”
DO INCARCERATED BLACK LIVES MATTER?
IF SO, SUPPORT UHURU’S CLEMENCY REQUEST
Uhuru Rowe is a self-educated, socially conscious, politically active brother, who has been incarcerated for 22 consecutive years in the Virginia (VA) prison system where he has often experienced retaliation from prison authorities because of his political beliefs, organizing activities, and for speaking out against inhuman prison conditions.
Uhuru was involved in a robbery back in 1995 that resulted in the shooting deaths of two people. Though Uhuru was not the trigger-man, he accepted responsibility for his actions and entered a non-cooperating guilty plea which sealed his fate. The sentencing guidelines recommended a maximum sentence of only 13 years, but former Richmond circuit court judge, James B. Wilkinson, who was known to be a racist, ignored the recommendation and sentenced Uhuru to an aggregate sentence totaling 93 years. This sentence is an unprecedented 80 years over the guidelines recommendations! Continue reading “Do Incarcerated Black Lives Matter?”
By Uhuru B. Rowe
February 18, 2016
“The Commission did not specifically address reinstating discretionary parole due to the limited time for the Commission and the interrelated and complex issues (including incomplete data), which made this issue difficult to address in the time period allowed….,” Governor Terry McAuliffe revealed about the Commission on Parole Review in the Executive Summary section of his December 4, 2015 Governor’s Commission on Parole Review Final Report and Recommendations (Final R&R, p. 5).
This statement came as a surprise to Virginia prisoners sentenced under the draconian no-parole (85 percent) law, our loved-ones and community grassroots organizations because we all were extremely optimistic that the Commission would do the just and fair thing and recommend that parole be reinstated. But, what is even more shocking is that the Commission did not even consider or address the issue of parole reinstatement even though this was the main reason why the Commission was established in the first place. Continue reading “The “Non-Review” of Parole Reinstatement by the Parole Review Commission”