Virginia's parole system could use an overhaul

There are 20 comments on the Hampton Roads Daily Press story from Aug 2, 2008, titled Virginia's parole system could use an overhaul. In it, Hampton Roads Daily Press reports that:

T he time has come to take a serious, long look at why Virginia has one in 44 adults in the prison system, and more so at the reason they are kept there so long.

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Linda

AOL

#1 Aug 2, 2008
The Parole board never goes to even see the inmate. They have a person called an interviewer go and then they send an email to the board and the board goes on the computer and hits a decline parole for that inmate. Why have a middle person, if the board went to see the inmate they would be able to see that they can be paroled. This is not fair to the inmate, the families and the state of Virginia.
Carol

AOL

#2 Aug 2, 2008
I agree with the article. Virginia should be ashamed of the way inmates under the "old law" have been treated. Many are eligible and suitable for parole, but the parole board has but only one answer "no." Warehousing of inmates has got to be stopped.
Jason

Martinsville, VA

#3 Aug 2, 2008
The thing is, law enforcement differs in various parts of Virginia. For example, I would not dare break a law in Northern Virginia... Richmond however...
Lisa

Lititz, PA

#5 Aug 3, 2008
BWUSA wrote:
We should do away with parole altogether. If the prisons get too crowded, they should just "hot bunk" the inmates like they do on Navy subs. Each inmate gets an 8-hour shift in the rack. The rest of the time he'd be working. Plenty of work to do. There's always floors to be scrubbed and things that need painting. Make sure they're too damn tired to get into any trouble.
It Is Very Likely That You Know Very Little About The Way That The VA. Prison System Is Ran. The Head Games That The Guards Play On A Hourly Basis is Uncalled For. Would You Work 16Hrs A Day? I Think Not.Everybody Makes Mistakes Some Get Caught, Some do Not. I'm sure you'd like to be given a second chance if you ended up in the system>Everyone Should Be Given A Second Chance In proving they're suitable for society! GOD WANTS US TO FORGIVE, HE EVEN FORGIVES YOU!
Sam

AOL

#6 Aug 3, 2008
BWUSA wrote:
We should do away with parole altogether. If the prisons get too crowded, they should just "hot bunk" the inmates like they do on Navy subs. Each inmate gets an 8-hour shift in the rack. The rest of the time he'd be working. Plenty of work to do. There's always floors to be scrubbed and things that need painting. Make sure they're too damn tired to get into any trouble.
Lisa is right. You really don't know anything about the Virginia prison system. Until you have a friend or loved one incarcerated you really don't know! With Virginia having only a 5% parole rate, do you realize how much $$ that is costing each taxpayer? I for one feel that my $ could be put to better use on transportation, etc. The inmates that would be released could & would be tax paying citizens. They deserve a second chance. Who among us has not made a mistake, but there comes a time to be forgiving and let them start again.
Frances

United States

#7 Aug 3, 2008
All of the old law inmates have been in prison for at least 14 years, they were young when they committed the crime, and have done everything they can to better themselves for release. The way our parole board works is if you have served that magic number of years you get release no matter what you have done or not done while in prison. If anyone took the time to look over the parole board's practices they would see that. Inmates are being let out where they are rehabilitaed or not. Now how is that any kind of decision making. The parole board members make over $100,000 a year. OUR TEACHERS DON'T EVEN MAKE ANYWHERE NEAR THAT AMOUNT AND THEY WORK 10 TIMES HARDER!!!
LISA

Lititz, PA

#8 Aug 4, 2008
I don't understand how the parole board can "judge" the inmates because they've never met them in person.The 3rd party involved only tells them what they want to tell them and that's not a fair judgment.I wish they'd ask the staff who works with them day in and day out. Then they'd get a real feel of how the inmates were. Sounds to me that the parole board makes way too much money for their poor job performance.Changes need to be made!!!
Life

Newport News, VA

#9 Aug 7, 2008
I would like to say this maybe the best thing I have heard all day.I totally agree with you. I don't want bad people on the streets, but I woud like to see people who have done their time to be released.I would like to use the money thats going in these prisons to be put in the school systems. This money might help purchase computers, field trips etc. I also would like to say no offense to anyone, As a afro americea I would like to say after slavery was over we were promised 40 acres and a mule it appears all we get is 40 years for anything that we do.Last if the parole people are to old to be fair, maybe it's time they be replaced also. my two sense--:-)
Life

Newport News, VA

#10 Aug 7, 2008
Yeah, we need something done about this issue.
ygbsm

Norfolk, VA

#12 Aug 8, 2008
I'd like to see a side-by-side comparison of parole rates versus crime rates. I'd bet they're just about proportional. Less convicted criminals on the streets = less crime.
Of course, if we executed more this wouldn't be a problem.
marie stallings

AOL

#13 Aug 10, 2008
I agree with the article and with MOST of the comments. My questione is What do we do about this situation? I am going to send this article to some of the radio stations., in hopes of drawing attention. to this unfairness. This article is of interest to me because it relates to me a personal level. My son in law has been incarcerated for the last 22 years. and is experiancing the unfairness of the parole board
Frances

Chesapeake, VA

#14 Aug 12, 2008
ygbsm wrote:
I'd like to see a side-by-side comparison of parole rates versus crime rates. I'd bet they're just about proportional. Less convicted criminals on the streets = less crime.
Of course, if we executed more this wouldn't be a problem.
Do a little researh and you would see that they are not.
Frances

Chesapeake, VA

#15 Aug 12, 2008
BWUSA wrote:
<quoted text>
That's such BS. Most of them dirtbags would be back to committing crimes within a month. The federal system doesn't have parole. The state systems shouldn't either.
VA doesn't have parole anymore either. The inmates convicted before 1995 are still eligible for parole, which is about 9,000 inmates.
Frances

Chesapeake, VA

#16 Aug 12, 2008
marie stallings wrote:
I agree with the article and with MOST of the comments. My questione is What do we do about this situation? I am going to send this article to some of the radio stations., in hopes of drawing attention. to this unfairness. This article is of interest to me because it relates to me a personal level. My son in law has been incarcerated for the last 22 years. and is experiancing the unfairness of the parole board
You need to talk to your Senators and Delegates about the problem. If you want help email exodus19.4@hotmail.com
Kimberley

United States

#17 Aug 16, 2008
I understand the frustration on both sides of this argument. I was a firm believer in if you don't deserve to be in prison you won't end up there. That is until my brother in law ended up in for 25 years for what the girl now says was a "misunderstanding" and she hopes that they can get together when he gets out. Of course he was convicted in 2007 so he doesn't even have a chance at parole. Yes criminals need to be punished, he needed to go to jail. However he does not deserve 20 more years. And there is absolutely nothing we can do. I have been in the military for 13 years and have proudly never been arrested. I'm terrified to even drive through the state of Virginia after witnessing what happened to my brother in law.
JohnB

Virginia Beach, VA

#18 Aug 16, 2008
BWUSA wrote:
We should do away with parole altogether. If the prisons get too crowded, they should just "hot bunk" the inmates like they do on Navy subs. Each inmate gets an 8-hour shift in the rack. The rest of the time he'd be working. Plenty of work to do. There's always floors to be scrubbed and things that need painting. Make sure they're too damn tired to get into any trouble.
I agree, the convict was convicted and sentenced for committing a crime. They should not be released until the sentence is complete. Personally I think they should bring back road gangs and let some of these people work on the roads and perform other public service tasks.
Frances

Chesapeake, VA

#19 Aug 18, 2008
JohnB wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree, the convict was convicted and sentenced for committing a crime. They should not be released until the sentence is complete. Personally I think they should bring back road gangs and let some of these people work on the roads and perform other public service tasks.
I hope you remeber your words when someone you love is in prison.
JoEllen

Pulaski, VA

#20 Sep 3, 2008
My x-husband was turned down 3 times. He's done everything he can do, has never had any charges, in every program class etc. None of his charges are for violent crimes, all are drug related. He's been in 6 years with no real reasons given for the turn downs. The parole guidelines are established & judges use the parole guidelines when sentencing, then the guidelines are ignored. WHY? The entire corrections system needs to be overhauled. I want to do something to help. This is not right. I have heard of the person @exodus19.4@hotmail.com. I'm going to write her and see what I can do to help our inmates. Maybe if we all work together, we can demand improvements.
Karen Pennsylvania

Kutztown, PA

#22 Sep 21, 2008
I thought there were specific guidelines to be follwed by the VA Parole Board. I found out that is is all at the discretion of the Board if they want to or do not want to follow the guidelines. There are inmates who have a good record while they have been incarcerated and always get the same answer at the time of the parole interview. It is senseless to pay high wages to these officers and an interviewer does their work. How did this happen. Those incarcerated prior to 1995 had a different guideline when it comes to a parole decision, but it seems unless you have lots of money to fight it with a great attorney you will just continue to be at their mercy. You would think they would want rehabilitated inmates to be part of society and contribute to the tax base like everyone else working for a living. There comes a time during an unnecessrily long period of time incarcerated where one can lose the desire to improve one's quality of life. I do believe the Parole Board should be overhauled and quickly. I have seen denials for my loved one for the past 10 years and it is the same old excuse to not parole. I am beginning to think they just do not want to deal with it or be responsible for putting the "wrong person out on the street." Perhaps if they focused more on interviewing inmates they would be surprised at how many could be productive citizens.
Karen Pennsylvania

Kutztown, PA

#23 Sep 21, 2008
Frances wrote:
<quoted text>
VA doesn't have parole anymore either. The inmates convicted before 1995 are still eligible for parole, which is about 9,000 inmates.
If I may ask you why are they not getting paroled then? I think the Parole Board forgot that point.

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