McDonnell Announces Va. Prisoner Re-entry Initiative

May 11, 2010

Gov. Bob McDonnell wants Virginia to do more to keep prisoners from winding up back behind bars.

McDonnell announced the creation Tuesday of a council to study ways to bring together state, private and faith-based resources to better plan for a prisoner's re-entry into society.

Each year more than 13,000 adult and juvenile offenders are released from incarceration. McDonnell said 29 percent of Virginia inmates commit another crime within three years of release.

It costs about $25,000 a year to house an adult inmate, and $70,000 each year for juveniles.

A law passed two years ago requires the Department of Corrections to establish a re-entry plan for each offender, but budget constraints and poor coordination with community resources have hurt the program.

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