Thursday, October 8, 2015

The 3rd Virginia Parole Review Commission Meeting and 1st Virginia State Crime Commission Meeting for 2015

Over many of the last few weeks I have participated in and attended multiple meetings.

Including with a civil rights group, with Administration members and with individual Virginia Legislators all on RSO issues in Virginia.

Now I can not post about these private meetings but I want you to know this is what I do on the off-season to educate, looking for sponsors, address current issues/problems and to ramp up for the upcoming General Assembly session. And I do it at my own cost; I do not ask you for donations all I ever ask is that you take action on Action Items……and there could be some upcoming Action Items resulting from some of these recent meetings. 

Last week I attended two public meetings and I missed a third public meeting the week before due to a conflict, all of the Presentations for these 3 public meetings are supposed to be online so everyone can view them. 

They were:
1. The Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission Meeting on September 21st, which I missed.
2. The Virginia Parole Review Commission Meeting on September 28th, which I attended. All presentations were supposed to be posted at but as of 10/08 that page has not been created. I even called the Parole Board web-contact last week asking when the page would be created and my phone call was the first she was hearing of a page.
3. The Virginia State Crime Commission Meeting on September 29th, which I attended. 
There isn’t really anything specific for me to highlight about any of these 3 meetings but I am monitoring what all three groups are working on for possible legislation in January 2016 and if anything is mentioned at one of their upcoming meetings that is significant I will post about it.

Mary Devoy

Halloween 2015 is 3 Weeks Away, Will the Virginia Department of Corrections be Promoting the Myth-Based Operation Trick-or-Treat AND Operation Lights-Out with a Press Release or Not?

Last year during the VA CURE Conference (a week and a half after Halloween) I asked, Director of Reentry Programs for the Virginia Department of Corrections (VA-DOC ) Ms. Scott Richeson about the VA-DOC Halloween Programs for Registered Sex Offenders (RSO’s). 

I did this because in 2014 the VA-DOC regurgitated the same Press Release (see above) to every media outlet in the Commonwealth on the DOC Halloween programs Operation Trick-or-Treat AND Operation Lights-Out for those RSO’s under DOC Probation.  

I also learned last year that some RSO’s under VA-DOC supervision were instructed to post signs on their front doors (see below) to stop trick-or-treaters from ringing their bell or knocking on their door. 

I pointed out these programs and the Press Releases announcing them as successful are in fact “barriers” for the successful reentry of former offenders who are also RSO’s, running contrary to the message the VA-DOC was sending at the Virginia CURE conference of fact-based programs to create successful reentries for former-offenders. 

Knowing that Halloween 2015 is just 3 weeks away and anticipating that the VADOC probably plans to continue the charade of promoting these VA-DOC programs as preventative measures when the VADOC is actually perpetuating an urban-myth that everyone listed on the Virginia Registry is looking for new victims and Halloween provides them with an opportunity that they don’t have the other 364 days of the year (even though RSO's recidivism rate is the 2nd LOWEST of ALL crimes) I have contacted the Virginia DOC and Sect. of Public Safety. Maybe 2015 will finally be the end to this madness! 

Before these VA-DOC programs existed and since, there has NOT been one case of a Registered Sex Offender abducting, molesting or killing a child or an adult on October 31st. But yet year-after-year the Administration continues to advertise and implement these Halloween programs that deny former-offenders, their spouses and children from participating in Halloween activities on the holiday, that holds a felony over their head (even if the original conviction was a misdemeanor) if they fail to show up to the Probation office for the “lock-down” or to keep their lights off. These steps are not preventative but they are punitive because by doing so the Commonwealth  is telling all of their neighbors that the ex-offender, no matter how long ago their conviction was, no matter how much therapy they participated and no matter what debt they’ve paid to their victim and society……….the State is highlighting them as a significant danger on Halloween because they go the extra mile to notify the local news stations and the newspapers so a story is run about these smoke-screen VA-DOC programs.