Civil Rights & Racial Justice Program

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The Civil Rights and Racial Justice Program works to end the criminalization of poverty in Virginia by exposing and addressing the connections among policing, poverty, race, and injustice.  Through a strategic mix of community organizing, local and statewide policy advocacy, and impact litigation, this program works to reform our criminal justice system’s over reliance on incarceration and to dismantle systems of racial injustice.

The Civil Rights and Racial Justice Program was officially launched in early 2017 with the hiring of Legal Director Adeola Ogunkeyede, but the core values espoused by the program have been central to the Legal Aid Justice Center’s mission for a long time.  Several of our current initiatives fit within the program including Drive Down the Debt, our lawsuit challenging Virignia’s “Habitual Drunkard” Law, and our continuing enforcement of a settlement agreement with the Virginia Department of Corrections over sub-standard medical care the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women.