Participants in a Virginia Union University November 14 panel discussion about the new Justice Policy Institute report on Va. incarceration, were (from left, at podium), Rev. Emory Berry, Virginia Alliance Against Mass Incarceration; Marc Schindler, Justice Policy Institute; Gus Smith, whose daughter Kemba was pardoned by President Clinton after serving six of a 24-year drug sentence; Spike Bradford, Justice Policy Institute; and Dr. Lisa Moon, Virginia Union University Center for the Study of the Urban Child. (Courtesy of the Virginia Alliance Against Mass Incarceration)
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Virginia, historical home to U.S. "Founding Fathers" George Washington and Thomas Jefferson who stressed values like freedom and independence, has the eighth highest jail incarceration rate in the nation.