Parole Board; personal interviews of prisoners eligible for parole. (HB444)

Introduced By

Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy (D-Woodbridge) with support from co-patron Del. Kaye Kory (D-Falls Church)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Parole Board; personal interviews of prisoners. Requires that at least two members of the Parole Board personally interview any prisoner eligible for parole who has served at least 20 years of his sentence and has no record of institutional violations within the five years immediately preceding the Board's review. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/06/2018Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/18 18102157D
01/06/2018Referred to Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety
01/15/2018Assigned MPPS sub: Subcommittee #2
01/29/2018Impact statement from DPB (HB444)
02/01/2018Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (5-Y 1-N)
02/01/2018Subcommittee recommends referring to Committee on Appropriations
02/02/2018Reported from Militia, Police and Public Safety with substitute (20-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
02/02/2018Committee substitute printed 18106189D-H1
02/02/2018Referred to Committee on Appropriations
02/02/2018Assigned App. sub: Public Safety
02/05/2018Impact statement from DPB (HB444H1)
02/09/2018Subcommittee recommends striking from docket (5-Y 0-N)
02/13/2018Left in Appropriations


Chad O'Handley writes:

Today I want to comment on the basic attitude that Virginia doesn't have parole and it should never be considered as an option for reinstatement.
Well, in 1995 parole was abolished. And since then, people have been paroled. Of course they were all convicted before '95, but that does not change the fact that they were paroled and released back into the community. All while lawmakers tell you that this would be dangerous. Murderers and rapists would be released if we reinstated parole. Muderers and rapists are already being released. Not to mention, not every murder or rape gets a sentence that amounts to life. So even without parole, people who have committed these crimes, are being released. The need for parole comes from the lack of consistency in the sentencing. Two people can be convicted under the same circumstances, but receive wildly different punishments. Where one will see life again and the other will not. For a thing as simple as skin color, or the judge had a bad morning.
Everyone deserves a second chance and in order to achieve that we need to restore parole in Virginia for everyone.

Margaret Breslau writes:

We need to reinstate parole. Our prisons are at capacity or beyond capacity. In 2017, Governor Terry McAuliffe appointed Adrianne L. Bennett to chair the Virginia parole board. Bennett said that because the population of elderly prisoners is growing so fast, many younger prisoners are serving their sentences in city, county and regional jails scattered across the state, “You’ve got people spending two or three years in a local jail because our prisons are now stuffed with old men taking up bed space.” This is madness. Also, the high parole denial rate in the face of statistics that show it’s safe to parole certain offenders costs taxpayers $28,000 per year per prisoner. The cost for older prisoners is even higher due to medical expenses. In Virginia, the 9% of state prisoners over 60 years old account for 22% of the prison system’s budget for medical care. Let's start making sense again -- bring back a sensible path to parole.

Mary Kay Goette writes:

On a practical level, our prisons are over crowded because this one- way system is unsustainable. On a human level, anyone who has already served a long sentence should be ELIGIBLE for parole. This does not mean it will be granted but removing it as an option balloons the cost of incarceration. Investments in programs that offer hope and assistance to individual who are at high risk for engaging in criminal activity rather than spending precious taxpayer money on incarcerating them makes infinitely more sense.