Good stuff from Sen. Scott Surovell’s office:
Senator Surovell and Delegate Hope Introduce Justice Commission
Mt. Vernon, VA — Senator Scott A. Surovell (D-Fairfax) and Delegate Patrick Hope (D-Arlington) introduced legislation to rename and repurpose the Virginia State Crime Commission.
Under the bill, the former Virginia Crime Commission would be named the Virginia Justice Commission. The legislation also broadens the Commission’s focus from solely crime and punishment, but to also include diversion, rehabilitation, collateral consequences of convictions, firearm violence prevention, equity and fairness in the criminal legal system, and prisoner re-entry. The bill also changes the membership of the commission adding the executive director of the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission, The Superintendent of the State Police, and experts in rehabilitation, reform, and reentry.
Surovell highlighted the importance of repurposing the Commission to better serve Virginians. “For too long, the Crime Commission has been focused on outdated and unproven strategies such as mandatory minimum sentences, over-felonizing behavior, and failing to balance accountability with rehabilitation. It is time that the Commission took a broader focus to ensure that while people who commit crimes in Virginia receive accountability and crime victims receive justice, the system also provides for a fair trial and avenues for education, rehabilitation, and re-entry.”
Hope stressed that the Commission will serve a vital role in policy development. “The Virginia State Justice Commission will be the place the General Assembly turns to for objective and evidence-based research into our criminal justice system. These long overdue changes will modernize and bring the Commission into the 21st century,” Hope said.
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Senator Scott A. Surovell represents parts of Fairfax, Prince William, and Stafford Counties since 2015 and practices law, including traffic defense and personal injury, in Northern Virginia. Prior to his election to the Senate of Virginia, Surovell served six years in the House of Delegates including six months as Minority Caucus Chairman. Surovell lives in Mt. Vernon area of Fairfax County with his wife and four children.