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On Recidivism

They say that Virginia has the lowest recidivism rate. I suppose so being that they don't want to let people out of the cinder blocks! The sad thing about it all, is that the ones they do choose to release are the recidivists! What about the rest of us? Those of us that would return to society better and would be citizens in good standing? What happened to our chance? Would it be because they know that they could no longer receive the funds to hold us as "wards" of the state? Such greed! And way, more injustice than should ever allowed! What about the rest of us that would go home and show the others how it's done?

A Note from CFJ: The Virginia Department of Corrections is very proud of it's recidivism rate, which is the lowest in the country. However, the average amount of time inmates spend in prison has increased significantly, according to the latest study done on length of prison terms Urban Institute. The study found the average amount of time served behind bars had risen by about 5 years from 2000 to 2014. Researchers also discovered that black men, in particular, were the majority of the population of inmates serving the longest sentences.served increased 32% or more. The average increased 83% in Oklahoma and nearly doubled in Virginia. Of these states, eight were among the 15 with the largest increases. Of the top 11 states, VA ranked 4. 4. Virginia > Average time served in 2009: 3.3 years> Change in length of stay from 1990: 91%> Cost to state of keeping prisoners longer: $518.8 million. The average prisoner released in Virginia in 1990 had served just 1.7 years — well below the then-national average of 2.1 years. By 2009, Virginia’s average time served had increased by 91% to 3.3 years, the second-highest percentage increase in the nation. Much of this increase was driven by a rise in the percentage of sentences served: from 1990 to 2000 the length of sentences served rose 71% for violent crimes and 116% for nonviolent crimes. This trend continued from 2000 to 2009, when the length of sentences served rose another 18% for violent crimes and 10% for nonviolent crimes. Such policies are extremely expensive. Simply keeping those prisoners released in 2009 incarcerated for longer cost more than a half a billion dollars.

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