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  • As a social worker, Elizabeth has seen first-hand how the criminal justice system has disproportionately impacted Black and Brown communities, and how easy it is for people to fall into the school-to-prison pipeline from a young age and never get the chance to rebuild their lives. As recently as a few years ago, Virginia was ranked the worst state in the country when it came to referring school discipline cases to the criminal justice system. That’s why Elizabeth made criminal justice reform one of her key issues from her first year in office.

  • In 2020, the General Assembly passed Elizabeth’s bill to raise the age at which children are automatically tried as adults from 14 to 16. The Daily Press called the bill a "sweeping rethinking of how to deal with kids accused of felonies". The paper noted Elizabeth waged a “three-year campaign” to successfully pass the bill, which is now law.

  • Even though white and Black people use marijuana at roughly the same rates, enforcement has been disproportionately targeted at Black communities. That’s why Elizabeth was chief co-patron on the bill that decriminalized marijuana in Virginia. She supports legalization for recreational use and would like to see an equity program that would include an expedited permitting process for people who have been incarcerated for marijuana offenses.

  • Elizabeth believes that people who have served their sentences should be given a fair shot at finding a job and rebuilding their lives. That’s why she sponsored one of the boldest expungement bills of the 2020 session. Her bill, which would have expunged most misdemeanors after three years, was named one of the top 75 bills continued into the 2021 session by Blue Virginia.

  • Elizabeth believes shareholders should not profit off of the incarceration of human beings. That’s why she introduced and will continue to fight for legislation to ban private prisons like the GEO facility in Lawrenceville.


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