The Honorable Rossie D. Alston, Jr., who is currently serving on the Court of Appeals of Virginia, was the featured speaker during a program on January 25 that included a video tribute to Dr. King and remarks and reflections by Deputy Todd Stubblefield and Chaplain Myron Contee.
Judge Alston encouraged the audience of approximately 75 inmates to commit themselves to a better future. He said that despite their current circumstances, they could overcome challenges and still soar. He told them that it was not too late for them to have a rewarding and meaningful life and that once they return to the community, they should try to reach out to people to help them avoid making similar mistakes. Judge Alston explained that if he could make a difference in a couple people’s lives and then those people did the same for a couple more, then together their impact would be significant.
Inmates and staff all greatly appreciated Judge Alston’s thoughtful remarks and his willingness to share his time.
Earlier this month, Judge Alston was nominated to a federal judgeship with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Before joining the Virginia Court of Appeals in 2009, Judge Alston was the Chief Judge for the Circuit Court in Prince William County. In 2001 he became the first African American to sit as a Circuit Court judge in Prince William. He had earlier served as a judge with the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in Prince William.