August 4, 2015

OAR Featured in Panel Discussion on Criminal Justice

On August 3, 2015, OAR participated in a panel discussion on “Crime and Punishment in Arlington County”.  The event was held at the Arlington Central Library and was hosted by Encore Learning.  It was free and open to the public.  Approximately 70 community members were in attendance.  Panelists included:  Karen Henenberg (retired Arlington County Judge), Jay Farr (Arlington County Police Chief), Beth Arthur (Arlington County Sheriff), Theo Stamos (Commonwealth Attorney), Matt Foley (Chief Public Defender), Elizabeth Jones Valderrama (OAR Acting Executive Director), and Adryann Glenn (former OAR client; Administrative Assistant for Clemency Project 2014).

The panel was moderated by Gail Arnall, OAR Development Consultant.  Each panelist was given a set of questions to address.  Karen Henenberg, retired Arlington County Judge, discussed how Judges are selected.  Jay Farr, Arlington County Police Chief, talked about the biggest challenges he faces in his position.  Sheriff Beth Arthur provided an explanation of the difference between the Sheriff’s Office and the Police Department in Arlington.  Theo Stamos reviewed how many Commonwealth Attorneys are in Arlington and how they are assigned cases.  Matt Foley discussed how the Office of the Public Defender was started in Arlington and how cases are assigned.  Elizabeth Jones Valderrama, OAR’s Acting Executive Director, talked about OAR’s role in the criminal justice system in Arlington. Lastly, Adryann Glenn, former OAR client, shared his experience about reentering the community after many years of incarceration and the support he received from OAR.

Adryann Glenn stated, “When I was released, I didn’t know what I was going to do next.  I had a place to stay, but I had no job and no hope.  I was given a list of resources at the jail.  I called every resource on that list, and OAR was the only one to pick up the phone.  They’ve helped me with transportation, food, clothing, and helped me find a job.  They gave me a second chance and that’s exactly what others need when they get released, too.”