Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe will create a commission to study reinstating parole in Virginia, two decades after it was abolished by then-Gov. George Allen amid a wave of tough-on-crime laws across the country, reported the Washington Post.
During a radio appearance Wednesday, McAuliffe (D) signed an executive order to review whether doing away with parole reduced crime and recidivism, analyze costs and make recommendations.
“It’s time to review whether that makes sense. Is it keeping our citizens safe? Is it a reasonable, good, cost-effective way? Are we rehabilitating folks?” he said. “Are sentences too long for nonviolent offenses? Are we keeping people in prison too long?”
The move is consistent with McAuliffe’s push to restore voting rights to thousands of former prisoners and remove from state job applications questions about criminal records, known as the ‘ban the box’ campaign.
It also comes at a time when the country is redefining the way it enforces its laws, and sometimes questioning the strict policing and corrections strategies of the 1990s.
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