Copyright (c) 1995 Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law
Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law
FORUM: PAROLE AND SENTENCING REFORM IN VIRGINIA: SUMMARY OF THE FINAL REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR'S COMMISSION ON PAROLE ABOLITION & SENTENCING REFORM
2 Va. J. Soc. Pol'y & L. 369
In September, 1994, the Virginia General Assembly enacted legislation abolishing parole for all felony offenses committed on or after January 1, 1995. 1 The legislation, popularly known as Proposal X, provides in part that "any person sentenced to a term of incarceration for a felony offense committed on or after January 1, 1995, shall not be eligible for parole upon that offense." 2
Adoption of the legislation marked the culmination of Governor George Allen's effort to eliminate parole, which began with the formation of the Governor's Commission on Parole Abolition & Sentencing Reform (the "Commission") shortly after his November, 1993 election. [The enacted legislation is based on the recommendations contained in the Commission's Final Report issued in August 1994.]
Several principles guided the Commission's work:
First, that parole must be replaced by a system that deters crime by making punishment certain and predictable.
Second, that the truth-in-sentencing system we adopt must be worthy of the name. We want sentencing juries to know that when they render a community judgment about the prison time that should be served, their judgment will be honored and enforced.
Third, that violent criminals must be incarcerated for significantly longer periods than they now serve, and that repeat violent offenders must be taken out of action until they are well on in years.
Fourth, that non-violent offenders must be diverted to alternative forms of punishment wherever possible in order to free up prison space and hold down the cost of incarcerating violent criminals longer.
If you are interested in obtaining a lexis.com® ID and Password, please contact us at 1-(800)-227-4908 or visit us at http://www.lexisnexis.com/.