Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Vera Institute of Justice - 50 States in Recalibrating Justice: A Review of 2013 State Sentencing and Corrections Trends. Again, Virginia Isn’t Even on the Chart as a State Working Towards Reform.

Well, the results for Virginia (below) are not very hopeful. We aren't even on the map!

Back in February there was an article about another Vera Institute report on States reforming their sentencing including scaling back on mandatory minimum sentences and allowing judges to sentence based on the facts of the case, not the charges. That article from 6 months ago wasn’t good news for Virginia either. 

When will the Commonwealth stop proposing and passing laws based on fear, myth, vengeance and prejudice and start legislating based on facts and data-driven research? 


Vera Institute of Justice- Recalibrating Justice: A Review of 2013 State Sentencing and Corrections Trends, July 2014

In 2013, 35 states passed at least 85 bills to change some aspect of how their criminal justice systems address sentencing and corrections. In reviewing this legislative activity, the Vera Institute of Justice found that policy changes have focused mainly on the following five areas: reducing prison populations and costs; expanding or strengthening community-based corrections; implementing risk and needs assessments; supporting offender reentry into the community; and making better informed criminal justice policy through data-driven research and analysis. By providing concise summaries of representative legislation in each area, this report aims to be a practical guide for policymakers in other states and the federal government looking to enact similar changes in criminal justice policy.