New Virginia Laws Offer 'Second Chance' For Ex-Offenders | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

New Virginia Laws Offer 'Second Chance' For Ex-Offenders

Play associated audio

More than 13,000 felons were released from Virginia prisons in 2010, yet two-thirds are likely to be re-arrested within three years. Another 50,000 offenders were discharged in 2010 from local jails.

To strengthen the state's prisoner re-entry program and lower recidivism rates, Gov. Bob McDonnell had already created a Re-entry Council and appointed the first-ever statewide coordinator. At a special ceremony, he signed seven bills with practical additions.

"America is a nation of second chances," McDonnell says.

But he said 90 percent of inmates will be released and their adjustment is a public safety concern. Sen. Ryan McDougle's bill creates a trust account with funds from prison work to use upon release. He said the goal is to remove barriers to productive lives.

"After people spent time incarcerated, they didn't have the financial ability to just do basic things: make sure they could get their driver's license back or get insurance for their vehicle," McDougle says.

The other new laws improve reentry planning, require HIV testing, and create new job opportunities.

NPR

Living Small In The City: With More Singles, Micro-Housing Gets Big

Single people represent the fastest growing category of households in the U.S. That's made small dwellings — from micro-apartments to stand-alone tiny houses, a niche force in the real estate market.
NPR

Don't Be Fooled By The Fishy Ingredients: This Burger Is Delicious

Chef Marcus Samuelsson has a ritual whenever he travels to a new place — ask the cabdriver, "Where do you eat?" When he did that on a trip to Barbados, he fell in love with a fish sandwich.
WAMU 88.5

Hogan Refutes Claims That His Charter-School Bill Is A Union Buster

More than half of the state's 47 charter schools are located in Baltimore, and Hogan believes making it easier for more to open there — and elsewhere in Maryland — would help close the widening achievement gap between white students and students of color.
NPR

FCC Votes Along Party Lines For 'Net Neutrality'

The new rules, if approved, would require service providers to be a neutral gateway to the Internet, instead of handling different types of traffic in different ways — and at different costs.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.