Oct. 17, 2013
The Office of Governor McDonnell announces that the civil rights of 6,874 Virginians have been restored during his administration, a new record high for a Virginia gubernatorial administration.
Of those, 1,577 were granted since McDonnell announced the state's new automatic, individualized system of rights restoration for non-violent felons back in July.
Governor McDonnell granted 1,114 in 2010, 1,293 in 2011, and 1,879 rights in 2012.
“I strongly believe in second chances and redemption," said Gov. McDonnell. "It is a fundamental part of the American way. Our efforts on prisoner re-entry and the restoration of rights are working. When an individual has done their time, and paid their fines, costs, and other obligations, they deserve the opportunity to rejoin our democracy in full."
The Restoration of Rights Division employs six staffers, four of whom were hired in July to implement the new system. The Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office has worked with the Clerks of Court, the Supreme Court, the State Police, the State Board of Elections, the Department of Corrections, and other stakeholder groups to streamline and automate the system.
Gov. McDonnell will seek additional funding for the system in his upcoming biennial budget.