For Immediate Release: July 16, 2018
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Ofirah Yheskel, Ofirah.Yheskel@governor.virginia.gov | Department of Criminal Justice Services: Tom Fitzpatrick, Thomas.Fitzpatrick@dcjs.virginia.gov

Governor Northam Designates July 15–21 as Pretrial, Probation and Parole Supervision Week

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam has issued a proclamation declaring the week of July 15–21, 2018 as Pretrial, Probation, and Parole Supervision Week in Virginia. Pretrial services and probation and parole agencies are a vital part of Virginia’s criminal justice system. These agencies use data-informed and evidence-based policies to enhance public safety by reducing recidivism and increasing the rate of court appearances.

The highly talented individuals that work for Virginia’s pretrial services and probation and parole supervision agencies help keep communities safe by monitoring defendants and offenders to ensure compliance with the terms of their supervision.

“Virginia is a national leader in the field of pretrial services,” said Governor Northam. “Our dedicated supervision officers help individuals make better choices, assist judges with bail decisions, and effectively collaborate with state agencies and community organizations. Thanks to them, many jurisdictions outside of the Commonwealth look to the ‘Virginia Model’ to keep localities safe and to ensure newly released offenders have a successful return to our communities.”

“We appreciate the work that Virginia’s pretrial services and probation and parole staff do on a daily basis,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “They are not only assisting defendants, but helping victims and the community at large by ensuring that court appearances are being made, restitution is being paid, and the occurrence of new offenses are minimized.”

On Tuesday, July 17, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran will tour Halifax County Probation and Pretrial Services at 2:00 PM where he will speak with local probation officers and thank them for their service to Virginians. This event—located at 129 South Main Street, Halifax, Virginia, 24558—is open to press.

The Department of Corrections (DOC) supervises state responsible offenders, individuals with over one year of time to serve, while the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) oversees local probation agencies that supervise individuals with sentences that are under twelve months and those that provide risk assessments and supervision for individuals awaiting trial. 

“Virginia’s low recidivism rate is due in large part to our extraordinary probation and parole officers,” said DOC Director Harold Clarke. “These individuals are fundamental to our reentry efforts; they advise and guide returning citizen through the process of rejoining their communities.”

“The individuals that work at our pretrial services agencies and our probation and parole offices guide many offenders through the criminal justice system,” said DCJS Director Shannon Dion. “I thank them for the important work they are doing. It is critical to have these dedicated criminal justice personnel throughout all stages of the process.”

In fiscal year 2017, Virginia’s pretrial services agencies completed over 38,000 defendant investigations and over 35,000 pretrial risk assessments. This enabled the agencies to make 29,388 placements to pretrial supervision. In many cases, this allowed defendants to stay with their families and maintain employment while they await trial.

More information on local community-based probation and pretrial services agencies can be found here and more information on state probation can be found here.

The full text of the proclamation signed by Governor Northam can be found here.

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