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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Model Prisoner Repeatedly Denied Parole

For some months I've been in correspondence with Jonathan D. White, a 54-year-old inmate at the Powhatan Correction Center who is now in his 33rd year in prison. Mr. White has been repeatedly denied parole in spite of having created an impressive resume since his incarceration in 1981. This is in part due to Parole Boards granting very few releases, especially in recent years. The last Board appointed by Governor McDonnell granted parole to only about 3% of cases reviewed, compared to a rate of nearly 40% during some previous administrations.

Here are some of Mr. White's educational accomplishments:

• Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Liberty University
• Associate in Arts and Science Degree in education from Paul D. Camp Community College
• Career Studies Degree in supervision from Paul D. Camp Community College
• Advance HVAC/R Technicians Certificate, Penn Foster Technical Training Program
• Climate Control HVAC/R Trade Completion Certificate, Commonwealth University
• Universal EPA HVAC Certifications 608, 609 and 410A , ESCO Training Services
• OSHA Construction Safety and Health Certifications
• National Association of Home Builders Basic Principles of Construction Certificate
• Blood Borne Pathogen Safety Training Certificate, Commonwealth of Virginia
• Cook - Journeyman Certification, Commonwealth of Virginia
• Custom Shoemaker - Journeyman Certification, Commonwealth of Virginia
• Industrial Sewing Machine Repair - Certification, Commonwealth of Virginia
• Wastewater Operations Training, Sacramento California Wastewater School
• Lithographic Computerized Digital Training, Commonwealth of Virginia

He has also taken an active part in the following:

• Alcoholics Anonymous
• Substance Abuse education
• Anger Management
• Advanced Anger Management
• Sex Offender Counseling and Therapy - SOPAC
• Breaking Barriers
• Life Skills
• Productive Citizenship
• Commitment to Change
• Christian Fellowship Services (leadership in worship and community services)
• Speaker for Steer Straight (teen and youth crime prevention service)

In addition, Mr. White has been infraction free throughout his incarceration, with no new convictions or crimes on his record, and has earned favorable recommendations for parole from the PCC staff and commendations for rendering helpful assistance to staff in critical situations. He has also received numerous recommendations from community supporters willing to assist him in the transition to reentry to the community and in maintaining conditions of parole.

In his own words:

"The Virginia Parole Board's responsibility is "to release on parole those persons who are considered suitable for release and who will not present a risk to the community". 

"I have met these criteria of suitability. My life is forever changed from the failures of my past youthful wrong decisions, and I have been sufficiently punished for the crimes for which I have been convicted and incarcerated.

"To everyone who has been affected by my past actions in life, victims, family, friends, associates and community, I humbly apologize to each of you. I am sorry for any hurt or pain and suffering I have caused to anyone as a result of my actions.

"Respectfully, I seek the privilege of parole at this time. I am deserving of a second chance in living my life as a responsible, productive, law-abiding citizen of the Commonwealth, and I fully acknowledge my responsibility to uphold this granted privilege.

"I want to be a success story of which you can be proud. Most people in my situation become very bitter here because of the injustices they have to endure.  Prison life is a major hardship, and when a person loses everything worth living for, such as mother, father, friends and status in society, it is hard to hold on to the sanity of doing right regardless of circumstances. But I thank God for redeeming my life when all others have abandoned me to these prison walls."

Jonathan Darryl White #1161021 - INM#128952
Augusta Correctional Center
1821 Estaline Valley Road
Craigsville, VA 24430
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