RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Their message: justice not jails. Several groups of activists came together in Downtown Richmond Saturday to be a voice for thousands of prisoners they say are silenced behind bars.
Brandon Nastanski works with Collective X. The group is making strides to change the state prison system and help get more rights and help to prisoners.
"This is really a rally about raising a little bit of general awareness getting people interested in the process and connecting different groups that are all working on different prison and jail issues."
Tammie Noey knows first hand what its like living life behind bars, she told us that she was incarcerated for many years and battled drug addiction.
"Walk a mile in the shoes of an inmate, walk a mile in the shoes of someone who has been arrested, who has mental illness, who does not have family support or someone who can come along and bail them out of jail."
Others like Tammie also spoke out on the war on drugs, the privatization of prisons, and the need to reinvest in parole and rehabilitation opportunities in Virginia.
While Tammie says she still battling the justice system with upcoming court dates she says she has hope that law makers will work to change prison policies.
"Prisons and incarceration has become such an industry that its hard to take it back now but its got to be done."