Saturday, January 30, 2016

Action Item: HB628 Patroned by Virginia Delegate Rob Bell (FYI- there are 3 Delegate Bell’s) is on Monday’s Docket for House Courts of Justice Criminal Sub-Committee


As it comes with the territory, I waited 2.5 hours for the Criminal Sub-Committee to begin and then sat through 3 hours and 40 minutes of Bills for the Chairman to then ask the members at 6:20PM “do we do these last 3 Bill or do we call it an evening” and they all responded “call it” and so I paid $30 for parking, sat in the room for more than 6 hours and HB628 wasn’t heard. I'm used to it!

Knowing the faces in the room, I believe I was the ONLY person who was there waiting to oppose HB628, again. 

This run-around by the House Criminal Sub-Committee is typical, it‘s just a bummer that I gave up my wedding anniversary for what turns out to have been no reason at all. It’s not the first time and I know it won’t be the last time. 

I’ll be back in the Criminal Sub-Committee on Wednesday hoping that HB 628 will be heard (if it’s placed on the docket), but who knows it may get pushed off to Friday but no matter what I’ll be there ready to oppose it because someone has to. 

If you haven’t sent you email's again HB628 yet, please do! 


Mary Devoy

Original Post:

The first Action Item against HB628 was on January 19, 2016 now this Bill has been placed on the afternoon docket for Monday February 1st. 

If you have not already taken action on HB628 please do so today! 

This weekend is a working weekend for the Virginia General Assembly who has taken a filed-trip to Williamsburg, VA. They will be reading their emails! 

What does HB628 do? 

Well part one is already done, publicly posting the Employer Information of RSO’s on the Virginia State Police (VSP) Registry. Which leads me to believe this Bill came at the request of the Virginia State Police to intentionally counter SB11, which has passed the Senate Courts of Justice Committee with an amendment AND the Full Senate.  

The VSP Registry ALREADY lists the Employer information online so why include it in HB628 as if it’s a new proposal? 

Because when the VSP added the Employer information online back in 2006 or 2007 they did so without ANY Legislative oversight and that's a serious problem!  

This Bill is an attempt to "fix" that SIGNIFICANT overreach that flew under the radar years ago and so Institutes of Higher Education have been included in this Bill so the argument "we already do this" won't kill it in the first Sub-Committee hearing. 

This Bill is a CYA for the VSP. 

Part two of the bill states to publically post the enrollment information to any college or university of an RSO onto the Virginia State Police Registry. As far as I know this would be a new addition AND it would result in most RSO’s who are enrolled in an institute of higher education to have their admission revoked. 

There are 4 important factors affecting recidivism for Former-Offenders released back into our communities. They are…..Education, Housing, Employment and Family support. 
This Bill targets two of those!

  • Virginia is one of ONLY 6 States that posts ALL Employer information of Registrants on online.
  • 29 States do not post ANY employer information publicly; five of those States are Federal Adam Walsh Act AWA/SORNA compliant
  • 10 States post just the address; eight of those are SORNA compliant
  • 5 States post the city, county and/or zip code; three of those are SORNA compliant 

A few years back both Texas and Kansas removed ALL employer information from public view, the Texas advocacy group actually used Virginia’s 2010 failed bill as their foundation. 

Any Virginia RSO who is enrolled in a college has registered that information with the Virginia State Police, the VSP has confirmed it’s correct and the school knows that student is an RSO. But if it’s put online the school will now be pressured by parents, students and neighbors to get rid of the RSO student.

Without a college degree a former-offender can not achieve more than a service job which then means they will never be able to secure safe and consistent housing and if their employment and housing options are always hanging in the balance then they are more likely to lose the support of family. Without employment, housing and family support the chances a former-offender will recidivate are extraordinarily high. This bill ensures those listed on the VSP Registry will fail. 

Other States are studying the efficacy of their Sex Offender Registries and laws, they are removing unproductive and harsh barriers but here in Virginia our Lawmakers willfully ignore all the studies and statistics and they become more resolute on the issue. 

TODAY please Email or call your Virginia Delegate AND Senator and ask them to vote “No” on HB628 as it is based on zero facts and hinders a successful reentry back into society for Virginia’s former-offenders. 

If you are feeling extremely industrious please also email or call EVERY member of the House Full Courts of Justice Committee (list below) IMMEDIATELY.

2016 - House Courts of Justice Committee
Richmond, VA. During Session
David Albo*
Les Adams*
Robert Bell*                    
*Also on VSCC
Jeffrey Campbell
Benjamin Cline**
*Also on VCSC
Christopher Collins*
C. Todd Gilbert**           
*Also on VSCC
Gregory Habeeb
Charniele Herring*
*Also on VSCC
Patrick Hope*
Terry Kilgore
Paul Krizek
James "Jay" Leftwich
G. Manoli Loupassi
*Also on VSCC
Jennifer McClellan
*Also on VSCC
T. Monty Mason*
Jackson Miller*
J. Randall Minchew
Jason Miyares
Richard Morris**
David Toscano
Vivian Watts*
*  -On Criminal Sub-Committee
*  -On Both House Committees that hear majority of RSO Bills 

Thank you. 

Mary Devoy