Justice System

Family Caregiver Alliance

The United States has more people in prisons and jails than any other country in the world -- 2.2 million inmates -- a 500% increase over the past thirty years. 

We’re also a graying society, with millions of baby boomers claiming the title of senior citizen. 

Those two trends spell trouble for Virginia’s prisons, as  caring for a single senior behind bars can cost more than $65,000 a year.

By the end of this year, California must release 9,600 prisoners from the nation’s largest correctional system, because the Supreme Court says overcrowding makes it impossible to provide adequate healthcare for inmates.

Failing to do so constitutes cruel and unusual punishment - a violation of the U.S. Constitution.  Virginia’s prisons are also crowded and facing a lawsuit over medical care that will be heard this spring, but on other reasons for change in the Commonwealth’s correctional centers.

The Innocence Project

Mar 24, 2014

Brian Banks is a former NFL linebacker whose career was derailed by a wrongful conviction for rape.  After he spent five years in prison, the woman who accused him admitted she had lied. 

Now, Banks is coming to Virginia to help the Innocence Project – an organization that helps inmates prove they are not criminals.

No one knows how many people are wrongly convicted each year in Virginia, but Matthew Engle gets many requests for help from people who insist they are innocent.

“It’s not unusual for us to get 20-25 new requests for help a week.”   

Judge Denies Motion by Former Governor

Mar 18, 2014

A federal judge has denied a request by former Governor Bob McDonnell’s defense attorneys to limit the prosecution’s involvement in a separate, CIVIL case filed by shareholders of Star Scientific. 

McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, have pleaded “not guilty” to federal charges of improperly promoting the company’s dietary supplement in exchange for gifts from its former CEO, Jonnie Williams … and they maintain that the civil case is relevant.

Virginia Police Departments Test E-Traffic Tickets

Mar 12, 2014
photo by Beverly Amsler

The latest law enforcement tool isn’t a gun or bullet-proof vest but an on-board electronic scanner.  Three Virginia police departments are beta testing the new device.