Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Why Doesn’t the VA-DOC Track the Recidivism Rate for Virginia’s Registered Sex Offenders Under Probation Anymore?

I skipped last year’s update of this VA-DOC chart (separated into 2 charts for easy viewing, below) and only realized it today. 

Then newest data (June 30, 2017) won’t be available until late-summer or early autumn and I’ll need to add a 9th column at that point. 

These VA-DOC reports have a lot of data (Recidivism Rates, # of Residential Programs, and Sex Offenders with GPS Units) but I only chart the information I find useful as an advocate for a Smarter Sex Offender laws. 

But one point that I’ve raised before and I’m going to raise it again is this……….. 

From 2009 to 2012 the VA-DOC tracked the recidivism (re-offense) rate for VA’s Registered Sex Offenders (RSO). 

Not only was the VA RSO rate of re-offense very low, but the sexual re-offense was extremely low and overall the RSO rates were dropping each year. 

After it disappeared from the annual report I filed a FOIA in 2015 looking for the RSO re-offense rate for 2013 and 2014 and I was advised by VA-DOC they did not track that information.
WHY? They had tracked it.


VA-DOC tracks the overall recidivism rate and regularly brags about it being the 2nd lowest (of the 47 States that track it) nationwide. 

When harsher legislation for Registered Sex Offenders in Virginia is being proposed and passed year-in-and-year-out I hear countless Virginia Legislators claim it’s because these “Sexual Predators” will re-offend, it’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’. Yet the 2009-2012 VA-DOC data proves that to be false. 

I believe the VA-DOC stopped tracking this data for that very reason, because the Administration and the Legislature wanted to be able to keep the citizens of Virginia in the dark about the real recidivism rate of RSO’s and maybe even so that I could not hold up that data at the annual General Assembly when myth-based, fear-monger proposals are being made under the false claim of a high rate of re-offense as evidence. 

5% of the entire VA-DOC Community Corrections population is Registered Sex Offenders.  

15% of them are wearing GPS units and the RSO’s are the ONLY VA-DOC Probationers required to take polygraphs. 

But yet the VA-DOC is NOT tracking their re-offense rate. It’s absurd! 

So I am asking all of you to contact the Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security who over sees the VA-DOC, the 2 Assistant Secretary’s, the Director of VA-DOC and the VA-DOC Re-entry Director. 

·         Secretary Moran           
·         Asst Secretary Cochran
·         Asst Secretary Brown  
·         VA-DOC Director Clarke  or 
·         VA-DOC Re-entry Director (Ms.) Richeson 

To…..return to the past process of tracking the recidivism rate of Registered Sex Offenders under Probation supervision and include that number in their annual report from here on. 

Thank you. 

Mary Devoy