Stop - Think - Act - Implement
By Earl Thomas Brady
Written November 22, 2021
To our Delegates, Senators, Democrats, Republicans and the body of the General Assembly:
July 2010, then Director Gene M. Johnson (Rethinking Prison Practices) stated: "Virginia spends too much money locking up offenders and not enough on programs to help transition into life after prison. The state should stop doling out lengthy prison sentences. At some point and time we need to stop locking up people we're mad at and lock up people we're afraid of and lawmakers need to look hard at our attitude about punishment. We can't afford as a society to keep locking people up and put the burden on the tax payers"
A) 8 prisons closed and 2,300 corrections positions cut.
B) Virginia has the nation's sixth lowest recidivism rate 28%
That was 2010, now here we are in 2021 and VADOC Director Harold Clark has asked the General Assembly to increase salaries for correctional officers by $9,000 and raise entry level probation and parole officers by $5,000 annually. At the cost of approximately $75 million. Further states, he stands with delegates, senators, and advocat4es who argue for geriatric and compassionate release/parole/pardons and most of all Second Chances.
A) The prison population has dropped from about 30,000 inmates to 24,500 over the past two years.
B) Violent crime rate, since 1980 dropped sharply. From a historic high of 758.2 per 100,000 population in 1991 to less than half that in 2018 (369.8). The rate of aggravated assault and robbery decreased even more precipitously over that same time period.
September 2021, Governor Northam stated that Virginia continued to have one of the most low recidivism rates in the country at 23.9% (5th in the nation, 5 years in a row), and he went on to tsay that inmates released between 50-59 years old had a recidivism rate of 18.8% compared to 29.9% for inmates released under 30 years of age.
I, Earl Thomas Brady, in no way express these facts to negate my crimes because I take full responsibility for my behavior and actions, then and now. Now, 22 years later, myself among others have servied more time for property crimes than most do for serious violent crimes.... (Leg-bills - H 1936, H 5148, H 2325, H 2010, S 624, S 91 - Please work to pass them, among others.)
During this time under the 85% law, being able to earn up to 4.5 days for every 30 days served and have completed all available programs, 22 years served. Now 55 years old, still have 20 years to serve at 4.5 days for every 30 days served. A) did not kill or rape anyone B) did not cause serious injury to anyone. Total sentence 48 years. Count 1: breaking/entering, 20 years and 2) breaking/entering sentence 8 years 3) malicious wounding, 5 ear sentence 4) robbery, 5 year sentence. "While awaiting trial for these counts, at the jail, I lied and signed a letter - count 5) perjury 5 year sentence, count 6) uttering, 5 year sentence.
Counts 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 - jury trial, count 3,4 the jury sentenced 2 years for count 3, 2 years for count 4. The judge stated - you must give him 5 years for each charge because mandatory minimum laws, states to do so.
Please note: these are facts supported by evidence, not a displeased or dissatisfied prisoner pouting because he/she can't have their way. That story has been accepted by society for too long.
Please hear these truths. Prior to the abolishment of parole in 1995 27 years ago, those with V/C (violence crimes) could earn sentence credits in three different classes 30/30, 20/30, 10/30 days ("Old Law" prisoners, approx. 2,700 still (2022) (1995) 27 years. Now question of great significance -- Ask yourself, does HB 5148 state those with V/C will continue to earn 4.5/30 days served, even those who have already served 20-27 years? How about those with 40-50-60 plus years, no history of institutional violence or gang affiliations?
1) No parole in the state of Virginia means life/death for incarcerated prisoners as of 2022 with astronomical numbers of years to serve -- 40-50-60 year sentences are, in reality, a death sentence without the electricity, keeping in mind, no matter how many programs one has been offered or completed, or the degrees of education one has accomplished or how much one has changed there heart, attitudes, or behavior, he/she will die in prison with no second chance and no opportunity to give back to their communities, victims, family, and grandchildren.
2) There are a lot of House and Senate bills that have been denied/failed. Please allow us to use SB 1370 (failed) as an example. Mr. Bryan Haskins, speaking for the VA Assn. of the Commonwealth Attorneys, voiced opposition to the bill and the retroactivity provision in particular. He warned that the state parole board did not have the funding or staff to handle thousands of inmates who might become parole eligible if the bill passed. For the record, the definition of "eligible" means no inmate has a Constitutional right to be conditionally released before the expiration of a valid state sentence. However, he/she would be "eligible" to participate for consideration to be conditionally released, by the Parole Board.
The current parole system needs to be reconstructed with fair objectives, goals, and ideas for the times and potential new laws and programs that may be implemented.
Parole Hearing Board/Parole Release Board
1) First, separate these two entities.
a) Parole Hearing Board (PHB) shall be commanded by public servants, retired judged, sheriffs, wardens etc. within that district. Those findings shall be submitted to the PRB within 90 days.
b) The parole release board (PRB) shall be commanded by the following: p/p officer, victims, delegate or representative, operations manager, warden, regional administrator, acting sheriff/captain or city/town the individual is to be released to.
c) There must be 4 "yes" votes out of the seven votes to be released by the Parole Release Board.
d) The funds being requested by the VADOC director from the General Assembly is ludicrous. Why? Technology allows for cost savings -- VADOC has set up video visits and this same set up will provide these hearings to take place, without travel and will minimize physical contact i.e. Zoom. Eight to ten million will in facto cover start up with 1 million annually.
HB 2325, in fact, should be implemented (VADOC has no oversight) over the years the VA penal system, by propaganda and persuasion, deliberately spread information and ideas for the purpose of injuring others within the institutions, the system has been designed to confuse and mislead our delegates, senators, and the public. Evidence shows genocide and ethnic cleansing being produced under artificial conditions with the systematic destruction of this cultural group (prisoners). We are not disgruntled prisoners, we are human beings. There is no coherent form of positive social structures within the VADOC organization. There is no logical consistency or uniformity, nothing in your daily life can be put into any type of schedule or established procedures and most of all no systematic process (the practice of forming an intellectual system). The current classification system is, in fact, structured for offender failure.
Funds are allocat4ed for programs have have limited existence, or not at all. Again, to confuse and mislead the tax paying public. Yes, the VADOC is accountable to no one, not even you, and evidence shows this continued behavior back to 2003-2004 ACLU investigations.
Please STOP, THINK, ACT, AND IMPLEMENT. We need to stop putting band-aids on the mental and emotional wounds of human being and includes our prisoners.