RD612 - Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission 2016 Annual Report

Executive Summary:
The Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission is required by § 17.1-803 of the Code of Virginia to report annually to the General Assembly, the Governor, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia. To fulfill its statutory obligation, the Commission respectfully submits this report.

The report is organized into six chapters. The remainder of the Introduction chapter provides a general profile of the Commission and an overview of its various activities and projects. The Guidelines Compliance chapter that follows contains a comprehensive analysis of compliance with the sentencing guidelines during fiscal year (FY) 2016. The third chapter describes the Immediate Sanction Probation program, which the General Assembly directed the Commission to implement in select pilot sites, and presents the findings of the Commission’s recently-completed evaluation of the pilot program. At the direction of the 2016 General Assembly, the Commission reviewed the sentencing guidelines for heroin distribution offenses, the results of which are detailed in the fourth chapter. In response to another 2016 legislative directive, the Commission explored recidivism among released federal offenders and this work is described in the fifth chapter. In the report’s final chapter, the Commission presents its recommendations for revisions to the felony sentencing guidelines system.