RD245 - “Continuing a Balanced Approach to Public Safety through the Healing Environment” -- Community Corrections Status Report - July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014

Executive Summary:
This is a status report on the Statewide Community Based Corrections System as required by the 2013 Appropriations Act, Chapter 806, Item 385-A.

There have been significant accomplishments over the past year which includes the Department of Corrections (DOC):

• increasing Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) conditional release supervision

• building partnerships to reduce outstanding absconder warrants and DNA samples

• expanding use of an automated risk/needs assessment instrument (COMPAS)

• continuing to use the new Offender management System (Virginia CORIS)

• expanding the use of voice recognition telephonic monitoring for low risk cases in the community

• updating of Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP) for all units

• managing of our activities within austere budget allocations

• continuing use of the National Computerized Interstate Compact Offender Tracking System (ICOTS)

• reducing the number of persons discharged from prison without housing

• extensive collaboration with other state and local agencies on the above issues

• continuing participation as a partner agency in Local Reentry Councils

In spite of our accomplishments many challenges remain. Probation and Parole Districts continue to be confronted with large workloads, limiting the time and services that can be provided to offenders on supervision. Too many offenders still enter the community from prison without housing, particularly sex offenders and violent offenders. Many offenders are released from local or regional jails without access to any reentry preparation programs. Offenders needing substance abuse or mental health services often face long waiting lists for public services. Sexual offenders, mentally disordered offenders, and substance abusers require extensive and intensive services and monitoring. The growing numbers of offenders involved in gangs presents new supervision obstacles.

Despite these major challenges, our central mission is to create lasting public safety by preparing offenders to reintegrate into law abiding lives after the course of supervision is completed.

We will continue to:

• identify offenders’ risks and needs and give priority to those offenders who pose the greatest risk to public safety

• develop and follow-up case plans that address identified risks and needs

• utilize evidence based services to respond to individual needs and reduce the risk of recidivism

• quickly and appropriately respond to compliance and non-compliance with proportionate incentives and sanctions

As we move forward, DOC will continue to evaluate our supervision practices and services and seek ways to continually improve our operations to achieve our goal of long term public safety.

Harold W. Clarke