Let Drew Come Home Now!

I am running out of patience. So is Dr. Staci Carr, the President of The Autism Society Central Virginia. Dr. Carr went to visit Drew in prison. She observed the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other effects of the ongoing trauma Drew endures. Dr. Carr noted that because of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Drew is on constant sensory overload. She agreed with Drew’s psychiatrist that incarceration for Drew is akin to torture. Dr. Carr was adamant that Drew needs to come home now. The bright florescent lights that are left on even during sleeping hours, the loud whistles, yelling, intercom screeching, slamming of heavy cell doors and the lack of effective medication for anxiety are just a few examples.

We have requested a face-to-face meeting with Governor Northam where Dr. Carr would be present. Dr. Carr has also requested this meeting. We want to provide insight as to how the communication style of autism was misunderstood as criminal behavior. In addition to being our Governor, Dr. Northam is also a pediatric neurologist. In his acceptance speech when sworn in as governor this past January he shared his regret for taking away the hope of a family whose child had autism. Listening to his message I was hopeful that he would step in with his vast understanding of autism and give our son and our family hope and return our trust in the criminal justice system. We can only conclude that Governor Northam has not been made personally aware of Drew’s urgent situation and suffering.

Our new request is a very reasonable solution to a difficult circumstance. Please join us in asking Governor Ralph Northam to send Drew home on in-home incarceration while he and his staff make a decision regarding Drew’s pardon. We were told that a pardon decision can take over a year. We don’t believe Drew will survive another year in prison.

When Drew’s case is looked into the following facts will be apparent.  Drew is on the autism spectrum. He has maintained his innocence from day one and has passed a state mandated polygraph with100% no deception. The mental health of the woman involved was not factored in when determining her motives, behavior and inconsistent testimony. From October of 2012 through March 2, 2017 Drew did everything the court required of him. Drew’s probation officer wrote a letter submitted to the judge stating that Drew was fully compliant, and she would be in favor of early release from probation. During the 5 years he was out on bond Drew made no attempts to contact the woman involved. Even the judge said he didn’t view Drew as a threat to the woman or to the community. He stated he was sending Drew to prison as a general deterrence to others, not because prison would serve any constructive purpose for Drew.

Our new request is both logical and humane. Please join us in asking Governor Northam to send Drew home now on in-home incarceration, while he and his staff reach a decision regarding Drew’s pardon.

You can email him at : ralph.northam@governor.virginia.gov (You might have to cut and paste the email address)
Phone number: 804-786-2211
Twitter: https://twitter.com/@GovernorVA and https://twitter.com/@RalphNortham

As always we are grateful to each of you more than we could ever express.

With Sincerest Appreciation,

Judy and John Harrison

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