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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Virginia Shows Nation How to Keep Communities Safe

It never fails that when a violent crime takes place, or a police officer is shot, more times than not, it is a repeat offender that committed the crime, someone that should have never been on the street.

The Washington Post reported last month that a study released by the Pew Center on the States indicates that other states could learn something from Virginia.
How Virginia has achieved lower-than-average recidivism rates is difficult to pin down, experts said. One likely factor, though, is lack of parole.

The state did away with parole in 1995 after get-tough-on-crime initiatives by then-Gov. George Allen (R). Prisoners are required to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences. By keeping prisoners behind bars longer, the effect is to “age them out of their crime-prone years,” said Brian Ostrom, a researcher for the National Center for State Courts who has extensively studied Virginia’s prison system.
It just shows that keeping violent criminals behind bars reduces crime, and makes communities safer.

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