Virginia has abolished parole and adopted truth-in-sentencing guidelines for persons convicted of felonies. As part of this reform, the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission developed a method for diverting 25% of nonviolent, prison-bound offenders into alternative sanction programs using risk assessment to identify the lowest risk offenders. This article describes an evaluation of the effectiveness of this instrument, used by judges at the time of sentencing. It serves to advance an understanding of the factors associated with recidivism and the policy implications of using risk assessment to divert offenders from incarceration at a time when states are facing fiscal challenges.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine