Prisons

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Governor McAuliffe has convened a large panel to examine the abolition of parole in Virginia and related state guidelines. But some believe that the Governor's Commission on Parole Review will undo the progress that the Commonwealth has made in reducing its rates of violent crimes.

High School graduation rates appear to be on the rise across the country, but for one segment of the population, they’ve dropped dramatically. The pass rate for prison inmates taking the G-E-D plummeted after a new computer based test was introduced in 2014.

G-E-D stands for General Education Diploma. It’s a test people can take if they failed to get their high school degrees. Corrections facilities are facing new challenges in making the tests available to inmates, even as experts stress, there’s nothing better than that degree to keep people from returning to jail.

Virginia Supreme Court justices will soon be deciding on a case that could have a significant impact on what state officials can withhold—even when a Freedom of Information Act request is submitted.

Although this case began with one lawmaker asking about how executions are carried out, he also discovered that agencies may have found a way around disclosing pertinent information. 

Virginia’s Supreme Court has handed down a ruling that could help people wrongfully convicted of crimes.

Early one morning in 1999, a group of young men robbed a diner in Norfolk, and lawyer Jim Neale says that crime led to murder.

“An off-duty federal police officer was a customer in that diner during that robbery, and she attempted to intervene, and a gunman, a masked gunman shot and killed her.”

Virginia's Rising Prison Rates

May 4, 2015

With 2.3 million Americans now behind bars, many states are looking at alternatives to jail time for those who commit non-violent crimes, but Virginia continues to imprison large numbers of people.

Crime in this country has fallen by more than 50% since the early 90’s, and Virginia has the third lowest rate of violent crime in the nation, but Lauren Brook-Eisen, a senior attorney with the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU says Virginia ranks 13th when it comes to locking people up. 

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