Prisons

Leaders in Arlington are settling a federal lawsuit against a jail for failing to offer services to a deaf inmate. As Michael Pope reports, the settlement could have consequences for jails across Virginia -- and the United States.

Virginia is already spending over a billion dollars a year on its department of corrections - a system responsible for more than 30,000 prisoners.  To meet the social and spiritual needs of some, it depends on volunteers from a Christian group called Grace Inside.  

Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe is fighting back against Republican criticism that his executive order restoring voting rights to former felons. The governor tells Virginia Public Radio’s Michael Pope that the clerical errors were from bad data from the Department of Corrections.

Virginia Could Build Two New Prisons for Kids

Jan 11, 2016
VA Dept. of Juvenile Justice

On any given day, the state of Virginia is dealing with about 5,000 kids who’ve broken the law.  Some are on probation or parole.  Others are in community programs, but about 400 are locked up.  Eighty percent of them end up committing new crimes within three years of being released.  Now, lawmakers in Richmond will debate reforming the juvenile justice system by building two new detention centers.

The Virginia Department of Corrections has more than 30,000 people locked up in state prisons, local and regional jails, each costing taxpayers an average of more than $32,000 a year. 

Those who committed crimes after 1994 are not eligible for parole, but Governor Terry McAuliffe has appointed a commission to study that situation and make recommendations.

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