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Why I'm Running

Justice is bigger than a jail cell. Human beings don't set out to be criminals - and we aren't meant to be caged.

People go through real trouble in their lives deserving of real attention.  When one crime is committed, when one person is arrested and incarcerated, entire families and communities are changed forever.

Our City needs a fundamentally different, community-driven, social services approach to criminal justice that keeps us safe by respecting the humanity of everyone involved.

Richmond's Commonwealth's Attorney should be our chief reform and chief public safety officer, not just our top prosecutor.

I'm running as a progressive reformer, leader, and innovator to make reimagining public safety our City's reality.

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Policy Pledges
Commitments to progress

Empower diverse prosecutors

to reflect Richmond's communities, values, and reform priorities.

Fewer than 5 of Richmond's 40 prosecutors are Black and Brown.

Social services, not sentences

for an effective criminal justice system that keeps us safe by respecting the humanity of everyone it touches.

Fewer than 20 people were accepted into drug and general district mental health alternative courts in the first quarter of 2021 (Oct '20 - Jan '21).

End mass incarceration

disproportionately affecting Black and Brown Richmonders by managing public, community-driven controls on prosecutorial discretion.

Currently, Richmond's prosecutors are not subject to a performance review system.

Prosecute police misconduct

by publicly enforcing clear, community-driven standards for use-of-force.

Summer 2020: Over 200 protesters arrested; only 2 police officers charged.

Early voting begins April 23    |    Primary: June 8
 
Meet Tom
An innovative servant leader

Tom founded the Virginia Holistic Justice Initiative and his criminal defense practice, served as a Richmond prosecutor and policy advisor, a Marine Corps Captain and veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan – and after graduating from UVA College, Law, & the Darden School of Business, he had the good sense to marry a Public Defender. Julia and Tom live a life of servant leadership together in Church Hill.

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Chip in today to elect Tom Barbour

Tom is running to bring real reform to the Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney's office. Can you donate today to help him bring community-driven change to our criminal justice system? 

Latest Press: News Feed
For more coverage, see the full archive
A New Approach to Ending Mass Incarceration
WVTF Virginia Public Radio

Virginia spends over a billion tax dollars each year to lock-up more than 37,000 people in the criminal justice system.

In Richmond, a team of young volunteers set out to change that situation by addressing the social needs of people charged with crimes. [...]

Candidates Question What Richmond Needs in a Commonwealth’s Attorney
Dogwood

What do Richmond residents need in a Commonwealth’s Attorney? What should his or her focus be? Incumbent Colette McEachin and challenger Tom Barbour raised those issues during a candidate forum this week at the University of Richmond’s School of Law. [...]

Race for Richmond commonwealth's attorney pits incumbent against political newcomer
Richmond Times-Dispatch

Richmonders won't have to wait until November to decide who will be the city's top prosecutor for the next four years because the presumptive winner will be determined by the Democratic primary on June 8. [...]

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