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Virginia AG concerned that changes to sentencing reductions pose public safety risk

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Virginia AG concerned that changes to sentencing reductions pose public safety risk


(The Center Square) — Virginia’s Attorney General Jason Miyares is concerned some changes to sentencing reductions in the commonwealth pose a public safety risk, with over 7,000 “violent offenders” now eligible for reduced sentences.

On July 1, incarcerated people who committed both violent and nonviolent crimes became eligible for greater reductions of their sentences for nonviolent crimes after a provision the Youngkin administration inserted into the previous biennial budget expired.

Now they’re eligible for “enhanced” earned sentence credits, meaning they can earn up to 15 days off their sentence for a nonviolent crime for every 30 days of good behavior, whereas the sentences for violent crimes can only be reduced by a maximum of 4.5 days for similar good behavior. 

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares is concerned some changes to sentencing reductions pose a public safety risk. AP

That’s how the law was written in 2020, but Gov. Glenn Youngkin had tried to keep it so that people who had committed mixed crimes couldn’t serve shorter sentences for their nonviolent crimes committed “in the same act or transaction,” according to Miyares.

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Miyares is calling the expiration of the governor’s budget amendment a “critical public safety issue,” as more than 7,600 offenders now qualify for sentence reductions, “approximately 99%” of whom are violent offenders, according to the attorney general’s office. 

As the 2020 law instituting enhanced earned sentence credits applies retroactively back to 1995, hundreds of incarcerated persons were released the day the governor’s provision expired.

“On July 1, 2024, 445 inmates became eligible for immediate release, including: 16 convicted of first-degree murder, 22 convicted of rape or sexual assault, 46 convicted of abduction, and 244 convicted of robbery,” according to a press release from Miyares’ office. 


Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump left, greets Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, at a campaign rally in Chesapeake, Va.
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump left, greets Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, at a campaign rally in Chesapeake, Va. AP

“It’s well known that a mere 2-5% of offenders are responsible for over 50% of all crime. Expanding earned sentence credits to inmates convicted of both violent and nonviolent offenses in the same act or transaction will likely benefit these repeat, violent offenders,” said Miyares. “Virginians should not have to wait for a tragedy to prompt their elected officials to prioritize their safety. Good intentions do not equal good results.”

The enhanced system became statute under a Democratic trifecta in an effort to rehabilitate more of Virginia’s incarcerated people. The Virginia Department of Corrections closed four prisons on July 1. 

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Virginia

99th annual Pony Swim held in Virginia

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99th annual Pony Swim held in Virginia


99th annual Pony Swim held in Virginia – CBS Chicago

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Thousands of people gather in the water and on land every year on Virginia’s Eastern Shore to watch the ponies swim between islands.

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Midway Through 2024, Virginia Home Sales Activity Slightly Outpacing Last Year – Virginia REALTORS®

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Midway Through 2024, Virginia Home Sales Activity Slightly Outpacing Last Year – Virginia REALTORS®


 

According to the June 2024 Virginia Home Sales Report released by Virginia REALTORS®, there were 10,018 homes sold across the commonwealth last month. This is 974 fewer sales than June of last year.

Despite this month-over-month decline, overall sales activity across Virginia this year is slightly outpacing the first six months of 2023. This has occurred even with mortgage rates being higher than they were the first half of last year. “This year’s rise in home sales could suggest that some portions of the buyer pool are getting more acclimated to the higher rate environment,” says Virginia REALTORS® Chief Economist Ryan Price.

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In addition to higher mortgage rates, buyers continue facing the challenge of rising home prices. In June, the statewide median sales price reached $431,380, a 5% increase from the same time last year. This is an increase of more than $20,000, reflecting strong demand in the market.

Price growth trends are taking place across most of the commonwealth, with about 68% of Virginia’s county and city markets experiencing median price gains in June.

“Price growth continues to be a widespread trend in Virginia, and affordability challenges are brewing in some of our larger regional markets,” says Virginia REALTORS® CEO Terrie Suit. The largest median price increases in June were in the Southside region, parts of Northern Virginia, and the Richmond Metro Area.

“One bright spot for Virginia home buyers comes in the significant inventory gains we are seeing across the state,” says Virginia REALTORS® 2024 President Tom Campbell. “This growing inventory is providing more options for those buyers who are able to afford the combination of higher prices and mortgage rates.” In total, there were 18,340 active listings on the market at the end of June. This is an influx of 3,662 listings from this time last year—an increase of almost 25%.

Click here to view the full June 2024 Virginia Home Sales Report.

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Virginia Town Among 50 Best Places To Live For Families, New Fortune Ranking Says

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Virginia Town Among 50 Best Places To Live For Families, New Fortune Ranking Says


VIRGINIA — The best place in Virginia to plant roots for a lifetime is Chantilly, according to Fortune’s new ranking of the nation’s 50 Best Places to Live for Families.

In the analysis, Fortune said Chantilly, which has a population of about 25,000, was ranked third in the nation. Highlights of Chantilly mentioned by Fortune included the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, Pleasant Valley Golf Club and breweries like Ono Brewing Co. to Honor Brewing Co. Fortune said while Chantilly is mainly a residential area, it offers plenty of restaurants and shopping.

“Chantilly is a serene escape just 24 miles west of the city and just seven miles from Dulles International Airport — convenient for family vacations,” the editors at Fortune said. “The community is largely residential … but there’s plenty to do. Along Route 50 you’ll find a number of eateries and bistros, and where it intersects with Route 28, there’s a ton of places to shop.”

Fortune said its list reflects qualities people look for when they decide where to raise families and retire.

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“A great place to live not only supports families in the present but also serves them in the long term. With a growing portion of Americans caring for both children and aging parents, more people want to live where multigenerational families can thrive,” the news outlet said.

Fortune said it analyzed more than 2,000 cities and nearly 200 data categories, which included livability, financial health, resources for aging adults, education and wellness.

The cities chosen, one for each state, are sustainable for both their youngest and oldest residents and include fast-growing suburbs and edge cities that find creative ways to improve people’s well-being, Fortune said.



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