RD37 - Virginia State Crime Commission 2017 Interim Executive Summary of Activities


Executive Summary:

Established in 1966, the Virginia State Crime Commission is a legislative agency authorized by the Code of Virginia § 30-156 et seq. to study, report, and make recommendations on all areas of public safety and protection. The Crime Commission is a criminal justice agency as defined in the Code of Virginia § 9.1-101.

The Crime Commission consists of thirteen members - nine legislative members, three non-legislative citizen members, and one state official, as follows: six members of the House of Delegates appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates in accordance with the principles of proportional representation contained in the Rules of the House of Delegates; three members of the Senate appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules; three non-legislative citizen members appointed by the Governor; and the Attorney General or his designee.

In addition to a number of ongoing studies, the Crime Commission received numerous bill referrals and letter requests in 2017. Staff studied three new issues as a result of bill referrals and letter requests: decriminalization of marijuana, expansion of the DNA databank for misdemeanor crimes, and admissibility of prior inconsistent statements in criminal cases. Additionally, staff continued work on three previously authorized studies: pretrial services, restitution, asset forfeiture, and the DNA Notification Project.

The Crime Commission held three meetings to review and discuss study findings: October 30, November 29, and December 4. At its December meeting, the Crime Commission endorsed legislation on the topics of pretrial services, expansion of the DNA databank for misdemeanor crimes, admissibility of prior inconsistent statements in criminal cases, and restitution.

The Crime Commission’s Executive Director serves as a member of the Forensic Science Board pursuant to the Code of Virginia § 9.1-1109(A)(7) and also acts as the Chair of the DNA Notification Subcommittee. The Crime Commission’s Executive Director also serves on the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission in accordance with the Code of Virginia § 19.2-163.02, as well as their Budget Committee. The Executive Director also serves on the newly created Advisory Committee on Sexual and Domestic Violence.

Detailed study presentations can be found on the Crime Commission’s website at: http://vscc.virginia.gov. The final 2017 Annual Report will be published in June 2018.