RD628 - Recidivism Among Certain Released Federal Prisoners – December 29, 2017

Executive Summary:

During its 2016 Session, the General Assembly adopted legislation directing the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission to examine recidivism among certain released federal inmates. Specifically, House Bill 1105 (Chapter 394 of the 2016 Acts of Assembly) directed the Commission to examine recidivism among released federal inmates whose sentences had been retroactively reduced pursuant to Amendments 782 and 788 of the US Sentencing Commission’s Guidelines Manual and to calculate the recidivism rate of these offenders for crimes committed in the Commonwealth. The provisions of House Bill 1105 are in effect until January 1, 2018. The legislation requires the Commission to report to the Chairmen of the House and Senate Courts of Justice Committees by December 31 of each year until the directive expires.

As background for the study, the Commission reviewed the federal sentencing guidelines system, with particular focus on Amendments 782 and 788 of the US Sentencing Commission’s Guidelines Manual. The Commission also examined recidivism studies completed by the US Sentencing Commission on other federal offender populations. To respond to the legislative mandate, the Commission must have a list of federal inmates who received retroactive sentence reductions under Amendments 782 and 788, along with personal identifiers for those individuals. The Commission has taken a number of steps in an attempt to acquire the necessary information. To date, however, the Commission has been denied access to the information needed to complete the study.

This report documents the Commission’s activities in relation to House Bill 1105.