Virginia lawmakers push to make parole board more transparent

One bill now heads to the House of Delegates

This is one of many bills looking to enact criminal justice reform in Virginia.

Criminal justice reform efforts are moving forward in the Virginia General Assembly.

Some legislation is focused on making the highly-criticized parole board more transparent.

On Monday, the Senate of Virginia approved Senate Bill 1103 to make the board’s votes on whether to release someone public.

Sen. David Suetterlein, a Republican who represents District 19, led the charge for that bill, getting bipartisan support.

“An individual’s liberty affects them and their family but it also affects public safety in a significant way and we ought to know how the folks on the parole board are voting on that just like we know how folks vote on every other board and commission,” said Suetterlein.

His district includes all of Floyd County and Salem, as well as parts of Bedford, Carroll, Franklin, Montgomery, Roanoke and Wythe counties.

The bill now heads to the House of Delegates.

Other legislation in the works would require the parole board to contact prosecutors, victims and families about the process.

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