here is some good news for me. There are going to some serious reforms in Virginia, read on:
Though I may always be on the melancholy side, there is a hope on the very near horizon.
I would like first give you some background.
In 1995 the Commonwealth of Virginia abolished parole to anyone convicted of a felony after 1996(the year the law was enacted). Now those who were already eligible for parole prior to this ruling–“old law”– were still eligible to go up for parole every year, but the parole board was not passing out parole, and it became a farce. And as I write this there are still inmates who still go up for parole year after year ,and , year after year they are turned down! This is borderline “cruel and unusual. punishment” because these poor inmates (male and female) still believe they will make parole, but instead of getting paroled, they instead have their hopes and dreams of freedom crushed. Imagine going through this yearly for twenty plus years. This is psychological abuse (or maybe torture is a better word)
OK, now the Commonwealth of Virginia has been dominated by Republicans for 30 years, more or less and they are the ones who abolished parole, in 1995, and have made the prison of Virginia miserable (taking away more and more privileges year by year.
BUT NOW! This past November the Democrats have won and are in control of the Commonwealth of Virginia.When I say “in control” I mean there is a Democratic Governor , Attorney General, House of Delegates, and Senate.That means THERE IS NOTHING STANDING IN THE WAY OF PASSING THE BILLS THE REPUBICANS HAVE BEEN TURNING DOWN FOR DECADES ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND PRISON REFORM!
For example, the following is
“SENATE BILL NO. 91
Offered January 8, 2020
Prevailed November 27,2019
A Bill, to amend the code of Virginia by adding in Article3 of Chapter 4. of Title 53.1 a section numbered 53.1-165.2 and to repeal § 53.1-165.2 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the application of parole status.
Patrons- Edwards ; Delegate :Kory
Referred to committee on Rehabilitation and Social Services.
“Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding in Article 3 of Chapter 4 of Title 53.1 a section numbered 53.1-165.2 as follows :
§53.1-165.2 procedures for consideration of parole of persons previously ineligible.
The parole board shall establish procedures for. consideration of parole for persons previously ineligible for parole pursuant to the former § 53.1-165.1 in a manner consistent with the provisions of § 53.1-154 to allow for an extension of time for reasonable cause.
2. That §53.1-165.1 of the Code of Virginia is repealed. ”
In other words on January 8, 2020 the House of Delegates and Senate of Virginia will vote on reinstating parole and if the Bill is passed it will become law on July 1, 2020.
Nottoway Corr. Ctr.