Virginia

VIRGINIA PUBLIC OPINION SURVEY ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Results show Virginians support policies that improve public safety, reduce costs, and respect the human dignity of all individuals.

VA Criminal Justice Survey

Click to Download the full survey results graphic

Prison Fellowship and the Charles Koch Institute recently released the results of a new Virginia public opinion survey on criminal justice. The results of the survey show that criminal justice reform is a top issue for over one-third of Virginians. Thirty-six percent rate it as either their top issue or one of the top five issues most important to them.

“Across the nation, we have seen the states lead on issues of criminal justice reform. Virginia is now poised to join the ranks of other largely conservative states who have increased public safety, taken strides to save taxpayer money, and ultimately, have created a more restorative system of justice that upholds the dignity of all involved,” said Craig DeRoche, Senior Vice President, Advocacy & Public Policy, Prison Fellowship. “These polling results tell us that the Commonwealth has an appetite for a system of criminal justice that truly restores.”

To see more results on a variety of other criminal justice questions in Virginia, download the full survey results document.

JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORM IN VIRGINIA

ADVOCACY OPPORTUNITY
A number of bills on juvenile justice will be heard by the Virginia Assembly in 2016.  One, HB 1132, would eliminate the requirement that school staff report all student misdemeanors to law enforcement.  Passage of the bill would help to reduce the involvement of law enforcement in Virginia schools, which is nearly three times the national average.

To let your elected representatives know that you care about keeping students in the classroom instead of the courtroom, click here.

To learn more about this and other bills supported by Prison Fellowship, and how you can help to ensure their passage, click on the link below.

Bills to Support in Virginia in 2016

Justice Reform History in Virginia

VIRGINIA OVERVIEW

DEMOCRAT CONTROLLED

CRIMINAL JUSTICE OVERVIEW

  • 1 in 51 adults in the criminal justice system
  • Taxpayer burden: $25,129 per prisoner per year
  • Adults in prison: 37,044
  • Adults in jail: 27,313
  • Adults on probation: 52,956
  • Adults on parole: 1,983
*Statistics generated from reports by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (Mortality in Local Jails and State Prisons 2000-2011; Probation and Parole in the United States (2013); Prisoners in 2013, Vera Institute of Justice (The Price of Prisons), 2010 CensusOffice of Juvenile Justice and Deliquency Provention 2011 and various department of corrections' websites.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BARS

Join the 2016 "Restorative Punishment:  Think Outside the Bars" campaign. Find out where your state stands on sentencing reform, the use of drug courts, and restorative justice programs. This research and our advocate "how-to" materials can equip you to take action that will advance justice reforms in your state!

LEARN MORE

Think Outside the Bars

NATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

For over 30 years, Prison Fellowship has been active on Capitol Hill, lobbying Congress to support reforms to make communities safer, respect victims, and transform lives. Prison Fellowship played a leading role in working with Members of Congress to pass groundbreaking criminal justice reforms, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (1993), the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (2000), the Prison Rape Elimination Act (2000), Second Chance Act (2008), and the Fair Sentencing Act (2010), among others. Additionally, Prison Fellowship and the Texas Public Policy Foundation co-founded Right on Crime, a growing movement of conservatives committed to justice reform.

PROPORTIONATE PUNISHMENT

Prison Fellowship seeks a restorative approach to punishment where those harmed by crime are allowed to be a part of the process, those who offended are given a chance to make amends, and men and women are not incarcerated for longer than the wrongs committed would warrant.

CONSTRUCTIVE PRISON CULTURE

A restorative approach to crime seeks to do more than warehouse people convicted of crimes. It means holding prisoners accountable to accept responsibility for the harm they have caused to their victims, and to take steps to make amends and rebuild trust with their communities.

RESTORED COMMUNITIES

Crime doesn't just affect the perpetrators and victims, it also injures the community. A restorative justice approach considers these harms and engages communities in solutions, promoting safety by using proven crime reduction practices while protecting individual liberty.