The Love Story that Happened Suddenly by Paulettra James

Life is so unpredictable. You never know what will happen from one day to the next.  You wake up each day, sometimes performing the same routines of life when in a blink of an eye—you’re thrust into a world that you’ve only seen and heard about on television.  That’s the story of how I met and fell in love with my husband of 5 years Jerry James or as he’s known inside as “JJ”.

Santia Nance column: Second chances for incarcerated Virginians

Last month, in an interview in Henrico County, Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin addressed his plans for Virginia’s criminal legal system. When discussing instituting new leaders for the Virginia Parole Board, which evaluates parole for eligible incarcerated people, he stated in part: “We make sure that we’ve got folks that are recognizing that, yes, second chances are part ofContinue reading “Santia Nance column: Second chances for incarcerated Virginians”

Feature: Gin & Justice Podcast with The SIP

On this weeks episode Justine and Amanda chat with Juanita Belton, Santia Nance, & Paulettra James, The founders of SIP. These three women have a vision to change the perception of those sentenced to prison beyond 10 years and have been forgotten by lawmakers and society. Currently focused in Virginia, they started their efforts with theContinue reading “Feature: Gin & Justice Podcast with The SIP”

Opinion: Rehabilitated violent offenders deserve a second chance

As seen in the Virginian Pilot and Daily Press, written by Paulettra James. For years, I have been separated from the love of my life — my husband, Jerry James. Why? Because of Virginia’s incredibly outdated, harmful, and punishment-focused legal model. Despite overwhelming evidence that lengthy sentences are unnecessary to protect public safety, Virginia dolesContinue reading “Opinion: Rehabilitated violent offenders deserve a second chance”

Opinion: Virginia’s extreme sentences don’t make us safer, and they hurt communities

As seen in the Washington Post, written by Juanita Belton.

Virginia’s criminal legal system regularly doles out cruel, extreme sentences that last more than 20 years. I am hopeful that state officials will give all extreme sentences a second look.

Still Human

By Paulettra James

My husband and many others who are behind the walls are people, they are HUMAN! It is sad to think that in the 21st century, our society still has the mind set of “out of sight, out of mind.” But it is very true—there are thousands of men and women that sit behind the walls of prison, while society has continued to move forward.


By Sincere Born Allah

23 years, I’ve been in here and in that time I’ve managed to go thru my last years of teenage adolescence and enter adulthood by making and learning from a whole host of mistakes while successfully navigating this unnatural environment. Terms like manhood, responsibility, discipline, and respect were only words to me that at best I could crudely define.

Action: Alert Your Legislators about Ending Mandatory Minimums

The General Assembly is coming up and there’s some bills that could help undo the system that allow people to get over-sentenced, over-charged and end up doing WAY too much time. The bill itself should also allow for people to get reconsidered for shorter sentences – which could help our loved ones come home sooner.Continue reading “Action: Alert Your Legislators about Ending Mandatory Minimums”