Task force offers ideas to governor
Proposals for dealing with nonviolent offenders using alternative punishments
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Gov. Tim Kaine today received recommendations on ways the Commonwealth can most effectively and efficiently utilize its public-safety resources from the Alternatives for Non-Violent Offenders Task Force. The Task Force has provided more than a dozen recommendations to protect public safety and hold offenders accountable, while helping to control the cost of the Commonwealth’s correctional system.
“Given the current economic situation, it is critical that we examine all expenditures to ensure that the state’s resources are being used most effectively,” said Kaine. “Public safety will always be my priority, and I look forward to reviewing the Task Force’s recommendations.”
The Alternatives for Non-Violent Offenders Task Force was formed earlier this year to recommend policies to expand the use of alternative punishments for nonviolent, lower-risk offenders while reducing additional criminal activity, prison and jail populations, and corrections costs. Their recommendations will now be evaluated for possible budgetary or legislative action. The group strongly recommended that its work be extended and expanded for further study of these issues.
The Task Force brought together a diverse group of stakeholders from across the criminal justice system, including judges, Commonwealth’s attorneys, sheriffs, police chiefs, regional jail administrators, the Department of Corrections, the Attorney General’s Office, and the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission, among others. After a series of four meetings from May to August 2009, the Task Force developed both short- and long-term data-driven policies and practices for state-responsible nonviolent offenders.
The Pew Center on the States and Vera Institute of Justice provided technical support in the development of these recommendations and assisted in drafting the report that was submitted to the Governor and made available to the public.
The final report and recommendations of the Alternatives for Non-Violent Offenders Task Force is available as an Adobe PDF file at: www.publicsafety.virginia.gov/Initiatives/alt_nvo.pdf.