Richmond, Va. (Newsradiowrva.com) - Saying far too many people are in Virginia prisons not for crimes committed, but for violations while on probation, Governor Ralph Northam has signed a bill he says will provide probation reforms. Northam was joined at the signing by Rapper Meek Mill, a reform advocate who spent months in prison under similar circumstances.
Northam says in 2018, 13% of those in Virginia prisons were behind bars not for crimes, but for technical violations like missing a probation meeting. Nationally, it is estimated 25% of those in prison are there on technical violations.
The bill would prohibit returns to prison for a first, and in some cases, second technical violation. It also sets limits on how long probation can run. Northam has signed numerous justice reform bills in recent sessions of the General Assembly.