The problem with the Justice System is that we need programs that's going to focus on rehabilitation in order to prevent recidivism and in turn becoming more productive citizens in our communities. We also need immediate relief from this unjust truth-in-sentencing law that has psychologically tortured prisoners and their families for twenty two years. The basic foundation of this new law mandated in 1995 was implemented to eradicate violence, maintain a capital investment in increasing prison capacity (bed space), and reduce recidivism.
The Truth-in-Sentencing law was enforced by former Governor George Allen who politically promised Virginians that they would be safe from violence once this law went into affect. He told tax payers that if convicted felons serve longer sentencing it would decrease the violence in Virginia. In other words he tricked them into a state of fear in their own communities. Well we all know that didn't happen & the streets are as safe as they were twenty two years ago. The only reason the recidivism rate is low right now is due to the fact that this law has not provided any alternative solutions for rehabilitating criminal behavior. Therefore it's a reason why recidivism is at an all time low in Virginia, because the VADOC is not allowing prisoners to reenter society so that they can challenge themselves as rehabilitated individuals. In other words, this so called theory hasn't been properly tested to give a precise statistical evaluation on the nature of recidivism. We all know that violence is still a major factor in our communities and it will continue to escalate, because people are trying to avoid long term incarceration. So unconsciously they developed an "I don't give a Damn" mentality. Therefore the Truth-in-Sentencing law has become more of a problem instead of a solution.
The Memorandum addressed to the Governor on August 23, 1994, concerning the Commission on Parole Abolition and Sentencing Reform: Stated that the General Assembly implemented a financial package to meet the increase capital and operating costs in the proposal for specific bed space projections for only ten years. So from 1995 to 2005 was their initial plan which means they had no plans or a budget for the future. Therefore the question remains, how did this law get adopted then, and why is it still in effect now? The abusive nature of those in power have over compensated their logic for long term sentencing which they cant afford economically or socially. Therefore the Truth-in-Sentencing law serves no purpose in Virginia.
To all the families that have prisoners incarcerated please assist Ms. Kennedy (Ms.K) at www.RIHD.org and sign any petition that she has on line concerning these bills. In order to bring about a change more quickly, we have to tag friends, businesses, and post it on face book asking people to support all the bills that are presented at the General Assembly this year. This is crunch time and our time is NOW!!! Let's get our loved ones home! Virginia needs a change and it's up to us to make it happen. Thank you for your support.
From your brother, Righteous Arvel (gov: Cavonza Teasley #1129038) Augusta Correctional Center