April 2, 2014
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A justice reform organization says Virginia is spending too much to keep too many people locked up for too long.
In a report released Tuesday, the nonprofit Justice Policy Institute suggests Virginia should follow the lead of other states that are cutting costs and reducing prison populations without compromising public safety.
The report says Virginia has registered its first prison population increase in five years and is about to exceed $1 billion in annual spending on corrections for the first time in five years. Despite those trends, lawmakers have rejected proposals to cut prison time for certain nonviolent offenders.
According to the report, Virginia ranks second nationally in average length of prison stay. Longer sentences, parole abolition, reduced good-time credits and low early-release rates are all factors.
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