Right On Crime, a national, conservative criminal justice organization, applauds lawmakers in the Virginia House and Senate for passing H.B.457 and S.B.80, state-level probation reform that rewards compliance and encourages education, employment, and state-certified mental health and substance abuse treatment for the formerly incarcerated.  The bill now goes to the desk of Virginia Governor Glen Youngkin for a signature.

“This is a common-sense, bipartisan approach that focuses on the rehabilitation of our Commonwealth’s formerly incarcerated,” said Right On Crime Virginia Director, Danny Murphy. “In April, 2023, Gov. Youngkin underscored his commitment to ensuring long-term public safety, reducing statewide recidivism rates, and decreasing violent crime in our Commonwealth in his Second Chance Month Proclamation. By signing this bill, Gov. Youngkin acts on this commitment by incentivizing and rewarding compliance and rehabilitation for citizens who have served their time and are seeking to turn their lives around.”

Murphy reminds us that Virginia prisons are overcrowded and short-staffed, and with 95% of everyone incarcerated eventually released, Murphy says, “The key to reducing recidivism rates is to ensure those exiting the criminal justice pipeline are equipped with the tools necessary to seek meaningful employment and to focus on their recovery.  By incentivizing compliance and rewarding those who take great steps at self-betterment, we empower the formerly incarcerated to change course toward living a law-abiding life. This bill further underscores our core conservative principle of promoting public safety while saving tax dollars, allowing probation officers to focus their supervision on higher-risk probationers.”

Virginia is experiencing a labor shortage crisis with an estimated 47 workers for every 100 job openings, according to recent findings by the  U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Meaningful employment is the single most important indicator in reducing recidivism, emphasizing personal responsibility, and providing a sense of worth and value to the formerly incarcerated.   Good criminal justice policies, like this bill, are good for businesses, families, and Virginia communities.

Right On Crime is a national campaign supporting conservative solutions for reducing crime, restoring victims, reforming offenders, and lowering taxpayer costs. For more information, visit our website at www.RightOnCrime.com. 

For interview requests, contact Tonya Kerr, Right On Crime Communications, at 512-300-3767 or email at [email protected]