Archive for July, 2009

On August 12th at 6 p.m. at the Library of Virginia, Dwayne Betts will speak about and sign A Question of Freedom:A Memoir of Learning, Survival and Coming of Age in Prison.

Twelve years ago, Dwayne Betts went from being an honor student who had never been in trouble with the law to a convicted felon in three months. At 16 he drove to Fairfax, Virginia, with a group of friends and used a gun to carjack a man sleeping in his car. He was arrested the next day and sentenced as an adult. Dwayne spent eight years in prison, but he would not let it ruin his life. Naturally intelligent, Dwayne spent much of his time reading, working as a law clerk, and teaching himself Spanish. He began writing poetry. After his release he enrolled in Prince George’s Community College, where he subsequently graduated with high honors. He recently graduated from the University of Maryland, where he served as the graduation speaker, and has been awarded the Holden Fellowship, a full tuition scholarship to attend graduate school at Warren Wilson College where he will study poetry. The Washington Post did a feature story titled “From Inmate to Mentor, Through Power of Books”, link is provided to view full story, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/01/AR2006100101160_pf.html. Mr. Betts teaches poetry at several public schools in the DC Metro area and has had his poetry published in many national literary journals.

Congressman Bobby Scott will also make a special appearance at the event to speak about his work in the arena of juvenile justice. A dessert reception will follow the presentation.

The event is free and open to the public.  Youth are encouraged to attend.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Time: 6:00 PM–8:00 PM
The Library of Virginia
800 E. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 2321


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The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin released the first-ever comprehensive policy study on trying and sentencing children as adults on July 28th, “From Time-Out to Hard Time: Young Children in the Adult Criminal Justice System”.

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Don’t Throw Away The Key

For more information about the

Don’t Throw Away The Key Campaign,


Kate Duvall, Attorney


(434) 977-0553

kate (at) justice4all.org

Liane Rozzell, Executive Director

Families & Allies of Virginia’s Youth


liane (at) favyouth.org

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