Monday, April 7, 2014

Virginia Parole Board Reverses Decision on Elderly [Sex] Offender

The below article is a follow up to an earlier story and editorial that were posted on this blog. 

I sat down with now retired Senator Quayle’s Legislative Assistant back in 2010. 

I’m glad he saw this situation was not just wrong but cruel. 

Thank you Fred Quayle! 

Mary Devoy

Parole board reverses decision on elderly offender, April 7, 2014   By Louis Hansen

The state Parole Board on Monday reversed its decision on Willie Jefferson Combo Jr., granting supervised release to the elderly man who was convicted of failing to register as a sex offender. 

Keeping Combo in prison longer, Parole Board member Fred Quayle said Monday, "didn't seem fair." 

Quayle, a former state senator, said he asked his colleagues to reconsider Combo's case after it was profiled in The Virginian-Pilot last week. The story, he said, described the case in greater detail than the summary given to board members. 

Quayle said he initially voted for Combo to be released on supervised probation, but he was overruled. 

The board's reversal will allow Combo to return to his home in Norfolk. He is still in Norfolk City Jail but will likely be released within a week. 

Combo, 68, was convicted last year of failing to register as a sex offender. In February, the state board revoked his parole and returned him to prison. Combo said he forgot to submit his monthly certified letter to Virginia State Police in July.  

Other than twice failing to register with state police, Combo has no other criminal record in 14 years. 

Justice Policy Institute Report - Billion Dollar Divide: Virginia's Sentencing, Corrections and Criminal Justice Challenge

"Billion Dollar Divide: Virginia's Sentencing, Corrections and Criminal Justice Challenge"

The title of this post is the title of a new report by the Justice Policy Institute, which was released last week, is available here, and is summarized via this press release.  Here are excerpts from the press release: 

As Virginia lawmakers consider a budget that would see corrections spending surpass a billion dollars in general funds, a new report points to racial disparities, skewed fiscal priorities, and missed opportunities for improvements through proposed legislation, and calls for reforms to the commonwealth’s sentencing, corrections and criminal justice system. 

According to Billion Dollar Divide Virginia’s Sentencing, Corrections and Criminal Justice Challenge, ... while other states are successfully reforming their sentencing laws, parole policies and drug laws, Virginia is lagging behind and spending significant funds that could be used more effectively to benefit public safety in the commonwealth.... 

According to the report, approximately 80 percent of the corrections budget is being spent on incarcerating people in secure facilities, while only about 10 percent of the budget is spent on supervising people in the community. Put another way, in 2010 for every dollar the Commonwealth of Virginia spent on community supervision, it spent approximately $13 on costs for those incarcerated. Other states have a better balance between prison spending, and supporting individuals in the community. 

"Taxpayers' wallets – and more important, people's lives – are in jeopardy," said Marc Schindler, executive director of JPI. "Instead of planning to spend more than $1 billion on an ineffective corrections system, Virginia should be looking to policies that are being implemented successfully in other states to make wiser use of precious resources and get better public safety outcomes.”... 

Traveling as a Registered Sex Offender: New Page Added Today

The number one post (August 17, 2013) on this blog and the number one Google search that leads readers to this blog is travel rules, restrictions, requirements and laws for Registered Sex Offenders.  

I’m a person who does not believe in reinventing the wheel so I’ve searched the web today looking at other advocacy groups and organizations sites to see if anyone had such a page and I could not find this information in one location anywhere. 

So I decided to make a dedicated page on this topic. 

It is Traveling as a Registered Sex Offender off to the right side under Directory. 

If anyone sees any missing information or links that should be included on the new page please send me an email and I will add the missing details to the page. 

Thank you for following this blog. 

Mary Devoy

6 Year Side-By-Side Comparison of Sex Offenses Taken from the Annual Virginia Attorney General’s Office Report on Domestic and Sexual Violence

The newest (2013) annual report was published on-line during the 2014 General Assembly so I had to put it on the back-burner for a bit. 
·       Virginia Attorney General: 2013 Domestic and Sexual Violence January 2014 

I posted about the 2012 report back on November 11, 2013.

This post will compare sexual data from the last 6 reports.