Azeem Majeed, R-CPRS, I-FPSS, MARS-T
Peer Recovery Specialist
Azeem Majeed is a peer recovery specialist in the Department of Rehabilitation Counseling. At age 17, he received two consecutive life without parole sentences. As a traumatized child he was impacted by substance use - a major factor that led to the crimes that he was convicted of as a minor. In prison he started his journey on his path to recovery, which centered in his religious beliefs. Azeem's abstinence was motivated by his desire to develop a healthier relationship with God, shame for his convictions, remorse for the victim, and his desire to never again engage in the acts that could cause him to de-evolve into the inferior version of himself when he was a misguided teenager, or to engage in the activities that led to the crimes that he was convicted of (alcohol).
He became a respected leader in the VDOC. After being incarcerated for over two decades, Majeed became an elder/peer mentor in The Cognitive Community Reentry Program at S.1.S.P. While serving as an elder/peer mentor, Majeed was afforded the opportunity to take many reentry programs, which included the CBI Substance Abuse Program and Thinking for a Change which were pivotal to his continued and sustained recovery. He later became a co-facilitator of many of the programs alongside staff. In prison he became educated, reformed, fought to earn a second chance, and eventually became the first juvenile offender in Virginia to have such a sentence vacated by a federal court, received a historical sentence at re-sentencing and then became eligible for parole and was granted first parole after serving a total of 26 years. Since his release on Sept. 10, 2021, he has accomplished a host of achievements.
In 2022 Majeed successfully completed training with a decision intelligence company, Carbon Arc. He most notably spoke at the UVR, VCU, Virginia Tech, the 26th Annual Robert E. Shepherd Jr.’s Juvenile Law and Education Conference, the 2022 Richmond Virginia Bar Association Symposium, and the 2022 National Symposium on Juvenile Services in Louisville, Kentucky. He also has spoken at high schools, alternative schools, detention homes, and prisons in Virginia and Tennessee, at various parole hearings, and he has obtained legal representation for juvenile offenders, and assisted with preparing parole, clemency, and other legal petitions. He is a registered CPRS and an integrated forensic peer recovery specialist, a certified medication assisted recovery trainer, a problem gambling PRS, a husband, father, homeowner & business owner (CEO of Azeem Majeed LLC). He also is the Virginia ICAN regional connector to the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth. Majeed also was a panelist for the VDOC's 2022 Substance Use Disorder Virtual conference (Integrated Care for Lasting Recovery).
Majeed is approaching his 28th successful year of recovery. He is the recipient of the 2022 Returning Citizen of The Year Award, in which he was awarded in recognition of his return back into society and the impact he's made, his continuous hard work, focus, strength, and commitment to youth, returning citizens and community. In December 2022, Majeed received the Point of Impact Award in recognition of the contributions he's made to push the need for the awareness of criminal justice reform. On December 26, 2022 Gov. Youngkin appointed and commissioned Majeed as a notary public for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Majeed now sits on the problem gambling stakeholders committee for the Office of Recovery Services. He started contracting his services to the Virginia Partnership for Gaming & Health, and the extraordinary services he provided led to VCU creating a full-time position. In June 2023, Majeed became the first R-CPRS to work as a full-time employee of VCU's College of Health Professions' Department of Rehabilitation Counseling, providing services to those who are impacted by problem gambling addiction.