SD5 - Interim Report of the Joint Subcommittee to Study Barrier Crimes and Criminal History Records Checks in the Commonwealth in the 21st Century (SJR 35, 2020)
At the 2020 Regular Session of the General Assembly, the Joint Subcommittee to Study Barrier Crimes and Criminal History Records Checks in the Commonwealth in the 21st Century was established pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 35. The 11-member Joint Subcommittee was directed to study the Commonwealth's requirements related to barrier crimes and criminal history records checks, and in conducting its study, develop recommendations related to (i) whether statutory provisions related to criminal history records checks, barrier crimes, and barrier crime exceptions should be reorganized and consolidated into a central location in the Code of Virginia; (ii) whether certain crimes should be removed from the list of barrier crimes; (iii) whether barrier crime exceptions and waiver processes should be broadened; (iv) whether the required amount of time that must lapse after conviction of certain barrier crimes should be shortened; and (v) other changes that could be made to criminal history records check and barrier crimes requirements that would improve the organization, effectiveness, and fairness of such provisions.
The Joint Subcommittee was originally scheduled to complete its meetings by November 30, 2020, and submit to the Division of Legislative Automated Systems an executive summary of its findings and recommendations no later than the first day of the 2021 Regular Session of the General Assembly. In the 2021 Regular Session, the work of the Joint Subcommittee was continued for one year pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 285, with the Joint Subcommittee now scheduled to submit an executive summary of its findings and recommendations no later than the first day of the 2022 Regular Session of the General Assembly.
Senator John S. Edwards and Delegate Marcia S. (Cia) Price serve as the Joint Subcommittee's chair and vice-chair, respectively. The Joint Subcommittee held two meetings during the 2020 interim and began its evaluation of the background and history of barrier crimes in the Commonwealth and current laws pertaining to barrier crimes in the Commonwealth. The Joint Subcommittee heard presentations from state agencies and stakeholders providing overviews of current barrier crimes and regulations. The Joint Subcommittee directed the Department of Health, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, and the Department of Social Services to look into questions posed by the Joint Subcommittee and respond to such questions by April 1, 2021.