Virginia Governor Establishes Commission to Consider Reinstating Parole

VA Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced that he will create a commission to study parole and determine whether to bring it back to Virginia, a Fairfax Criminal Lawyer Muhammad Elsayed explains.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that he will create a commission to study parole and determine whether to bring parole back to Virginia.  Parole, the process by which a convicted criminal defendant may be released after serving a portion of their sentence, was abolished in Virginia more than two decades ago during a high-crime period.

Since its abolition, convicted felons in Virginia must serve at least 85% of their prison sentence before being eligible for release based on good behavior.  This system now in place obviously means far higher costs for tax-payers, often for the incarceration of non-violent offenders or first-time offenders.

With the Commonwealth already incurring significant costs to house tens of thousands of prisoners each year, the creation of this commission will hopefully reopen the debate on whether the current one-size-fits-all approach is effective—or even necessary.  Hopefully, the commission will also address the equally important issue of refocusing sentencing on rehabilitation programs, particularly for first-time and non-violent offenders.  Mental health challenges should also be addressed. However, with the republican-controlled state legislature currently in place, it remains to be seen whether real change will come of this commission in the near future.

If you, your family member, or a friend has questions about parole or other aspects of a criminal matter, contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Greenspun Shapiro PC.

Muhammad Elsayed
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Criminal, Traffic, and Injury Law Attorney Fluent in English and Arabic
My son had a first violent crime and was sentenced to 26 years. Even the prosecution was asking for a maximum of 20 years. This judge was out of control, he had already made up his mind on what he was sentencing because after family and friends came to speak for my son the judge did not even deliberate in giving his sentence. 6 months later they charged 3 others for a similar crime but where people were actually physically harmed and they were sentenced to 8 years. Where is the justice??? Some judges have conflicts they will not admit to and there is no oversight to them. Parole is the only way to catch these injustices and corrupt judges!! Bring back Parole so justice is served and not used for retaliation, payback or political gains.
by Lisa Curtis September 19, 2019 at 01:48 AM
The sentencing in the state of Virginia is incredibly harsh and has been seen to be ineffective. While we understand not everyone is fit for release or rehabilitation, abolishing parole has caused a devastating financial burden on the state and the tax payers. Tax payers I might add that has their family member incarcerated for an unjust amount of time. My life long friend and boyfriend committed one crime and his only crime and because he didn't know anything about another crime (they wanted him to tell them) they took each of his charges multiplied it by 5 and ran the sentence consecutive for 136 year sentence. ARE YOU KIDDING ME....HOW IS THIS JUSTICE? To complicate matters you abolish parole and when it is realized that thousands of inmates were sentence consecutively when in fact they didn't have to be or shouldn't have been to keep the court system from being flooded a rule is imposed that you have to already be in court on another motion in order to revisit a sentence revision. THIS IS NOT JUSTICE, THIS IS NOT CONDUCIVE TO REDUCING RECIDIVISM...THIS IS A MONEY MAKING GAME AND MISUSE OF POWER BY THE PROSECUTION.
by Kristina Ann Moss August 11, 2018 at 12:25 PM
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