Law/Justice

Fewer inmates in Virginia as state reduces jail population by 17% amid pandemic

Regrettably, many people have a mistaken view of what “crime” actually is. Yes, there is certainly such a thing as “crime” in the sense of harm to others (murders, robberies, rapes, etc) but most “crime” merely involves offenses against the state or other ruling class institutions, not other people.

Associated Press

Virginia has reduced its jail population by 17% in response to the coronavirus outbreak, Gov. Ralph Northam said Friday.

Northam said the jail population in the state was 24,000 on April 7, down 17% from March 1. Virginia has also seen a 67% decline in the number of new commitments for misdemeanors across the state.

Northam said the reduction was achieved through various steps, including decreasing the number of low-risk offenders being held without bail in jails, diverting offenders from being admitted into jails before trial by using summonses in lieu of arrests, and using alternatives to jail such as home electronic monitoring.

Critics, however, say the state hasn’t moved quickly enough to reduce the number of people being held in state prisons, which are considered high-risk locations for the spread of the virus.

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