Wednesday, April 19, 2017

In February, 51 Parole Denials, Zero Grants

Most of the Board's February dispositions involved inmates eligible for geriatric parole, but not one such release was granted.
The list below represents the February denials by the Virginia Parole Board (the latest numbers available). Of the 51 persons up for review (all males designated as either "white" or "black"), none were granted release, not even among the large numbers of people eligible for geriatric parole* This in spite of the fact that among inmates 50 years of age or older the likelihood of re-offending is greatly diminished, while the cost of their care begins to greatly increase. And as you can see from the list below, all but 15 of those eligible for parole are 50 or over.

In many but not all of the cases, the crimes committed are listed on the VPB website with the individual's name, and in the majority of cases the reasons given for the denials are based on the inmate's past criminal history rather than on negative behaviors or rule infractions incurred after incarceration. Unfortunately, the crimes for which inmates were sentenced can never be undone. Individuals can only demonstrate that while in Department of Corrections custody they have learned to behave as responsible citizens in the most challenging environment imaginable. 

The majority of turndowns were based on some combination of the following pre-incarceration factors, as follows:

Release at this time would diminish seriousness of crime (cited in 35 of the cases below)
Serious nature and circumstances of your offense(s). (cited 34 times)
History of violence (10 times)
You need to show a longer period of stable adjustment. (10 times)
Your prior failure(s) and/or convictions while under community supervision indicate that you are unlikely to comply with conditions of release. (6 times)
Extensive criminal record. (10 times)

(Question: Would a school deny graduation to a student based on "the serious nature of their ignorance prior to enrollment"?)

The following justifications for denial are based on the Board's judgment, but with no specifics provided:

You need to show a longer period of stable adjustment. (10 times)
The Board considers you to be a risk to the community. (19 times)
The Board concludes that you should serve more of your sentence prior to release on parole. (10 times)

The following less frequent reasons given for denial do actually have to do with behaviors in prison or on previous parole:

Your prior failure(s) and/or convictions while under community supervision indicate that you are unlikely to comply with conditions of release. (6 times)
Your record of institutional infractions indicates a disregard for rules and that you are not ready to conform to society. (1 time)
Poor institutional adjustment (for example, motivation/attitude, unfavorable reports, lack of program involvement, etc.) (2 times)
You need further participation in institutional work and/or educational programs to indicate your positive progression towards re-entry into society. (4 times)
Your record indicates a serious disregard for the property rights of others. (1 time)
Conviction of a new crime while incarcerated (1 time)

Then there were eight of the persons below who were not released because of "No interest in parole". These men, some of whom have lost all contact with outside family support, have sadly given up ever being able to make it outside of prison. This is heartbreaking.

1.  Stanley, J., 69 Male Black 
2.  Silvestri, J., 77 Male White 
3.  Arrington, R., 48 Male Black 
4.  Maddrey, E., 65 Male Black 
5.  White, T., 53 Male White 
6.  Hakahan, B., 46 Male Black
7.  Griffey, C., 53 Male White 
8.  Bennett, R., 61 Male White
9.  Walker, R., 50 Male Black
10. Christian, M., 56 Male Black 
11. Thinnes, N., 69 Male White
12. Sekou, K., 46 Male Black 
13. Olbera, J., 50 Male White
14. Hinojosa, G., 59 Male White 
15. Albright, R., 54 Male White 
16. Lane, J., 54 Male White 
17. BenYisrael, Y., 46 Male Black
18. Beverley, D., 68 Male White 
19. Harris, O., 60 Male Black 
20. Davis, O., 79 Male Black 
21. Gallahan, S., 61 Male White
22. Caudell, R., 61 Male White 
23. Holley, A., 64 Male Black 
24. Vanfleet, J., 43 Male White
25. Berg, N., 79 Male White
26. Bottoms, E., 72 Male White
27. Hardin, J., 45 Male Black 
28. Mcfalls, R., 47 Male White 
29. White, M., 42 Male Black 
30. Kolb, D., 64 Male White 
31. Davis, S., 62 Male Black Crimes 
32. Derricott, M., 52 Male Black 
33. Wilson, C., 71 Male Black 
34. Brown, J., 50 Male White 
35. Holmes, J., 51 Male Black 
36. Asbury, M., 47 Male White 
37. Walling, Je., 70 Male White 
38. Miller, D., 51 Male White 
39. Bagby, R., 60 Male Black 
40. Pender, S.,43 Male Black 
41. Barnes, B., 53 Male Black
42. Barber, O., 49 Male Black 
43. Cameron, A., 53 Male Black 
44. Gilmore, F., 45 Male Black 
45. Hall, R., 61 Male White 
46. Price, G., 48 Male White 
47. Thorpe, W., 49 Male Black 
48. Harris, C., 72 Male Black 
49. Laws, L., 56 Male Black 
50. Rogers, P., 65 Male Black
51. Brown, C., 22 Male White

Here's a link to contact the Virginia Parole Board and here's one to express your parole concerns to the Governor

*  § 53.1-40.01

Conditional release of geriatric prisoners

Any person serving a sentence imposed upon conviction for a felony offense, other than a Class 1 felony, (i) who has reached the age of sixty-five or older and who has served at least five years of the sentence imposed or (ii) who has reached the age of sixty or older and who has served at least ten years of the sentence imposed may petition the ParoleBoard for conditional release. The Parole Board shall promulgate regulations to implement the provisions of this section.

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