HD31 - Community Corrections Programs

Executive Summary:
Information for the Crime Commission's study of community corrections was gathered via surveys, site visits and interviews with state and local officials involved in the implementation of the legislation creating Virginia's new community corrections system. During the course of the study, the Commission addressed and made recommendations on issues pertaining to Community Criminal Justice Board membership, mandated programs, offender eligibility criteria and funding. The Commission made the following recommendations:

• Section 53.1-183 of the Code should be amended to clarify that membership on the Community Criminal Justice Boards is to include the individuals mentioned in the statute (e.g., judges, chief magistrate) and that these individuals are not authorized to appoint representatives;

• The Crime Commission should update the 1994 study conducted by the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services on the Impact of Public Inebriates on Community and Criminal Justice Services Systems (House Document No. 46) to determine the need for public inebriate diversion in the Commonwealth and whether the program should continue to be mandated in § 53.1-182.1 of the Code;

• Section 53.1-180 of the Code should be amended to clarify that § 53.1-20 (B1) (as opposed to § 18.2-10) should be referenced in order to define local responsible offenders for the purposes of the Comprehensive Community Corrections Act; and

• The Commission staff should develop budget amendment proposals to provide for the full expansion of programs under the Comprehensive Community Corrections Act and Pretrial Services Act to all eligible localities in the Commonwealth. These proposals should be presented to the Crime Commission for its review prior to the 1996 legislative session.

Section VIII of this report provides a complete discussion of the Crime Commission's findings and recommendations.