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Open Letter to Editor: Black Lives Matter | Afro

Real criminal justice reform starts with repealing Truth –in- Sentencing “Proposal X” in Virginia, the most prominent sentencing reform movement of the 1990’s, implemented under segregationist George Allen (Governor 1994 – 1998), to effectively restrict and eliminate parole eligibility and good time credits.

Virginia’s sentencing reforms abolished parole, reduced good time allowances to ensure that inmates serve a minimum of 85 percent of their imposed sentence, and became the most effective profitable warehouse prison complex business to date that disproportionately affect ethnic minorities.

Along with the federal government, Virginia is the worst states for insuring civil rights and one of eight states that have abolished parole and implemented the so-called Truth-in- Sentencing legislation that requires offenders to serve 85% of the imposed sentence.

Judge imposed sentences for nonviolent offenders are supposed to be lower under Truth-in- Sentencing, the time served in prison remains the same 85% because sentences are no longer reduced dramatically by parole and good time allowances.

Although parole was abolished for all offenders convicted after January 1, 1995, parole remains in effect for individuals incarcerated prior to Truth-in-Sentencing reform, but post statute inmates, are repeatedly denied parole and good time allowances based on blanket denials of the serious nature of the offense and disrespect of the law, back door enforcement of the Truth-in-Sentencing policy.

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