Juvenile offenders; parole eligibility. (SB110)

Introduced By

Sen. Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond) with support from co-patron Sen. Jennifer Boysko (D-Herndon)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Juvenile offenders; parole eligibility. Provides that any person who has active sentences that total more than 20 years for a single felony offense or multiple felony offenses committed while that person was a juvenile and who has served the lesser of at least 20 years of such sentences or 30 percent of the term of imprisonment imposed for such sentences shall be eligible for parole. Under current law, such person must have served at least 20 years before becoming parole eligible. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/06/2022Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/12/22 22101930D
01/06/2022Referred to Committee on the Judiciary
01/17/2022Reported from Judiciary (8-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)
01/17/2022Rereferred to Finance and Appropriations
01/24/2022Impact statement from DPB (SB110)
02/01/2022Reported from Finance and Appropriations (10-Y 6-N) (see vote tally)
02/08/2022Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/09/2022Read second time and engrossed
02/10/2022Read third time and defeated by Senate (19-Y 21-N) (see vote tally)


Fred Woehrle writes:

This bill would allow violent criminals to be paroled after too short a time -- as little as a fourth of their sentence. Juvenile killers can be very dangerous. As a source notes, "Murder rates peak in the late teens and early 20s. About four in ten killers commit their crime before age 25. A tenth of all murders have historically been committed by juveniles, and, once released, juvenile killers often commit more violent crimes, including more murders." See "Morrissey Proposes Extending Parole to Most Violent Offenders," Bacon's Rebellion, Jan. 10, 2020.

It's foolish to let violent criminals out of prison when they've served as little as one-fourth of their sentence. Yet that is what this bill would do. As the article cited above notes, "Restoring parole could result in Virginia having a high crime rate like neighboring Maryland, which has parole. Maryland has a violent crime rate more than double Virginia’s. In 2018, Maryland had a violent crime rate of 468.7 per 100,000 people, according to USA Today, compared to a violent crime rate of only 200 per 100,000 in Virginia. Forty years ago, Virginia’s Fairfax County had a similar crime rate to Montgomery County, Md., which is demographically and economically similar. But that changed after prison sentences became longer in Virginia, and Virginia eliminated parole. Fairfax County ended up with a much lower crime rate than Montgomery County."