Pulling the Switch

For 17 years, Jerry Givens was the last man convicted criminals on death row would see. As Virginia’s state executioner, he pulled the switch for sixty-two men. He then served his own time in the penitentiary and experienced life inside bars.  Today, Givens speaks out about his experiences as both the executioner and the convict. […]

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The long road to freedom

Travis Mines, executive director of R.O.O.T.S., talks about the challenges of returning home after incarceration. “I think the most courageous thing I’ve ever had to do is to change,” Travis said to a group of young people. Employment opportunities and a support network are important components of successful recovery for recent releasees, he explains.

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BELIEF reduces recidivism

Ed Coleman visits BELIEF program and Sheriff Woody

Ed Coleman visits the B.E.L.I.E.F. Program at the Richmond City Jail. This effective treatment program combines 12-step recovery principles with cognitive behavior therapy. It has a strong track record of reducing recidivism. “We are all recovering from something — whether we are locked in or locked out. Our job is to educate ourselves from the heart,” Sheriff Woody explains.

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