RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has proclaimed May “Second Chance Month” in a bid to focus attention on criminal justice reform and inmate re-entry programs.
Northam said in a statement Wednesday that redemption is a “fundamental American value” and that his administration is committed to making sure that former inmates have the support they need to succeed.
The governor’s proclamation comes a few months after he asked Virginians for a second chance following a blackface scandal that almost forced him from office.
Northam has since prioritized efforts to address longstanding racial inequities, particularly those related to the criminal justice system.
The Democratic governor was recently able to overcome strong opposition from key GOP lawmakers and eliminate the suspension of driver’s licenses for motorists with unpaid court fines and costs.