Virginia senator plans criminal justice reform
According to a report in the Boston Herald, Virginia Senator Jim Webb hopes to push for extended criminal justice reform legislation before he leaves the Senate. Currently, the state has a high number of incarcerated offenders, who may prove too costly for the state to maintain.
This past week, Webb reintroduced the National Criminal Justice Commission Act to begin the process of system review and new recommendation formation. Last year, Webb noted, the reform measures had support from both Democrats and Republicans, according to the news report.
Criminal justice degree students who research legal reform may be aware of similar legislative moves that many states have been employing in an effort to reduce costs and improve efficiency in their penal systems.
For instance, a recent report in the Miami Herald described how Texas Senator Jerry Madden spearheaded $500 million in budgetary savings through his reforms of his state's famously strict penal system. He emphasized rehabilitation programs for low-risk offenders by instituting a plethora of substance abuse and mental health services.
Speaking to the paper, Madden said his reforms are "being tough on crime. It's tougher for a drug guy to take drug treatment than to spend a year and a day in jail. If someone's a drug addict, break their habit.''