RD325 - Virginia State Crime Commission 2021 Annual Report

Executive Summary:

The Crime Commission engaged in a variety of studies throughout 2021. Crime Commission staff continued work on several ongoing studies, including the Virginia Pre-Trial Data Project, parole, and the expungement and sealing of criminal records. In addition, staff examined two new topics, secured bond and diversion, which stemmed from previous studies of the overall pretrial process in Virginia.

In September, the Crime Commission published the Virginia Pre-Trial Data Project: Final Report.(*1) The Project, which began in 2018, was developed to identify, merge, and analyze data from numerous state and local government agencies into a singular dataset that could be used to inform many important questions related to the pretrial process in Virginia. The Project resulted in the development of one of the most comprehensive collections of pretrial data in the nation. Legislation enacted during the 2021 General Assembly Session requires the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission to continue the Project on an annual basis by collecting and reporting on pretrial data and making such data publicly available, excluding any personal and case identifying information.(*2)

The Crime Commission held meetings on November 4 and November 15 to review and discuss study findings. During the November 4 meeting, staff presented on the Virginia Pre-Trial Data Project, secured bond, and diversion. Commission members also heard presentations on diversion from the Virginia Department of Social Services, Virginia Association of Community Services Boards, and the Virginia Association of Community-Based Providers. During the November 15 meeting, staff and key stakeholders updated Commission members on the expungement and sealing of criminal records. In addition, the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia advised members of the findings and policy considerations stemming from the Appointment of Counsel at First Appearance Work Group. Finally, the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services provided an update on pretrial services agencies.

Additional information about these studies and presentations is available on the agency website at vscc.virginia.gov.
(*1) The Virginia Pre-Trial Data Project: Final Report, along with links to descriptive findings at the statewide and locality level for each individual locality in Virginia, is available on the Crime Commission’s website at http://vscc.virginia.gov/virginiapretrialdataproject.asp.
(*2) The Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission created a page on its website dedicated to the Virginia Pre-Trial Data Project which is available at http://www.vcsc.virginia.gov/pretrialdataproject.html. This page includes a link to the Sentencing Commission’s interactive Pre-Trial Data Project Dashboard.