Governor Northam announced recently that Virginia had maintained its consistently solid ranking as a low-recidivism state. Those who are incarcerated in Virginia return to prison at a lower rate than almost any other state in the nation. Democrats say this is proof that their policies are working. But a closer look at the details suggests anything but that.
Virginia does have a low rate of recidivism. Since the end of parole in 1995, it has been one of the best rates in the nation. But Democrats cheering the rate as proof that their policies have contributed to that low rate are being hypocritical at best.
First, none of the policies enacted by Democrats might have an impact on recidivism. For example, the lowering of sentences for a number of crimes, expansion of parole opportunities, and restrictions on police, had not taken effect when the latest rate was calculated.
But more importantly, the rate touted by Governor Northam is a four-year rate, reflecting only those released in 2016 and later. From the release: “Virginia waits at least four years to calculate the three-year re-incarceration rate to ensure all court orders are included.”
That means that the recidivism rate reflects only policies enacted by a Republican-controlled legislature. The impact of Democratic changes to criminal law will only be seen fully in rates calculated after 2024.
Meanwhile, America has seen a dangerous spike in violent crime.
Even liberal outlets are warning that Democrats run the risk of being painted as ‘soft on crime’ if the trend continues. But then again, there’s a good reason Democrats might be described as soft on crime: they are. Virginia was known as one of the safest states in the union. Democrats are doing their best to change that.
Primary Day is Tuesday, June 8th. While the vast majority of our Republican ticket has been settled for a month or more, Virginia Democrats will choose their nominees for the top of the ticket and the House of Delegates.
By the time this column is published, we will know who the Democrats have chosen to put in their ballot this November.
As of now, it looks like the establishment will dominate the top of the ticket, as Terry McAuliffe and Mark Herring seek re-election.
At the House level, some 17 Democrats are facing primary challenges. The reason? The incumbents aren't far enough to the left. Make no mistake, when the dust settles on Tuesday night, we will be facing the most extreme, left-wing ticket in the history of Virginia.
DOLI v. CDC
As COVID cases trend ever downward and vaccination rates trend up, it's time for the Governor's state of emergency to end. Northam has said he will keep the emergency in place until the end of June. That's a nightmare for businesses still struggling with his 'permanent' COVID safety rules.
When Governor Northam was asked about the conflict between the DOLI rules his administration established and the CDC guidelines, he just laughed.
That's what this administration has been doing since the beginning of the pandemic -- laughing at businesses who are doing their best to keep their heads above water.
I appreciate those who contact my office and hope you will continue to reach out when we can be of assistance. The best way to contact me is via email at DelTWright@house.virginia.gov or by calling 434.696.3061. You can also send mail to PO Box 1323, Victoria, Virginia 23974.