Interesting article on issues of overcrowding in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail and the larger implications of the criminal justice system in Virginia.
- Expansion of the jail does not seem like a reasonable solution, either for costs to the state of Virginia, or for the best interests of those convicted of criminal charge.
- Better treatment programs for those with drug addiction or mental illness makes a lot of sense. People who are serving time for non-violent drug charges would be far better served by treating the problem rather than merely punishing people at great cost and with little benefit. Mental health problems are another complicated matter, but it is widely known that jails in Virginia are full of people who would have been in institutions & getting mental heath treatment a few decades back.
- It makes little sense to put people in jail merely because they are intoxicated. The local options may be limited, but it certainly makes more sense to expand facilities to handle public drunkenness problems with a less costly and simpler solution.
- It makes little sense that Virginia doesn’t take credit cards as a means of covering bail. It is a simple, practical solution to the fact that most people don’t carry much cash anymore. If it streamlines the process and saves, time, and jail space for an overnight stay, that seems like an easy fix.
- The article states that some inmates stay in jail longer than their sentences merely because it takes a long time to process their release paperwork. No doubt additional clerical staff will ultimately save money for the system.
It is certainly a positive step that jail administrators and Virginia criminal justice experts are willing to examine these problems and work towards practical and cost effective solutions that enhance both the safety and pocketbooks of Virginia citizens at large.
If you are facing a criminal charge in Virginia, contact our defense attorney for a free legal consultation on your options and what we can do to help.