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Virginia's recidivism rate remains among the lowest in country for 5th year BY: Arianna Herriott - May 31, 2021 “Virginia reports the lowest recidivism rate in the country for the fifth year in a row. Governor Northam reports that Virginia's recidivism rate is 23.9 percent. According to Northam, this is the fifth year in a row that the Commonwealth has had the lowest or second-lowest recidivism rate in the nation. Recidivism is when a person commits a new offense within a specified follow-up period that results in a new sentence. Mental health and drug use are said to play a factor in recidivism. Virginia came second to South Carolina’s rate of 21.9 percent. We all benefit when the individuals in our correctional system have the opportunity to learn, grow, and return to society as productive citizens,” said Governor Northam. “Our success is the direct result of effective reentry programs and strong partnerships across our Commonwealth. I remain grateful to the hardworking professionals at the Virginia Department of Corrections who are dedicated to rehabilitation, transforming lives, and building safer communities. The Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC), which operates state corrections facilities and state probation and parole offices, customizes its programming and supervision to address each individual’s criminogenic risks and needs. VADOC offers more than 125 programs to offenders who are in prison and those who are under community supervision. This includes substance abuse treatment, mental and behavioral health services, career and technical education, skills training, and employment and housing assistance. Of the 12,551 state responsible inmates released from incarceration in Virginia in 2016, Northam says 2,997 were re-incarcerated within three years. The state waits at least four years to calculate the three-year re-incarceration rate.”
James R. Camache, Jr., of Richmond, passed away July 18, 2021. He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Rebecca “Becky” S. Camache; daughters, Kathy A. Camache of Forest, Va. and Susan C. Darnell and husband, Scot of Virginia Beach; grandsons, Riley Johnson (Hannah) of Forest, Va., Isaac Johnson (deceased), Cole Darnell and James Darnell of Virginia Beach. A celebration of Jim’s life was held on Saturday, July 24 at the West Chapel of Bennett Funeral Home in Richmond.
Jim retired from the Virginia Department of Corrections after several decades of public service. At the time of his retirement, he was the Deputy Director overseeing probation, parole, and community corrections. Jim was highly respected and admired nationally for his knowledge and expertise in probation, parole, and community corrections.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place Memphis, Tenn. 38105 or online at www.stjude.org.
The Officers and Board of Directors of the Virginia Correctional Association wish to express sympathy for the family and staff of Hampton Sheriff's Office on the death of Sheriff B.J. Roberts who died at his home on December 26th, 2020. Sheriff Roberts was the first African American to serve as President of the National Sheriffs Association. See the link below for further information.
Helen Steele, a longtime employee of Virginia Department of Corrections attached to the Inspector General's Office has passed on. Her funeral Mass will be held Friday, November 13th. See the link below for further information.
Virginia Correctional Association mourns the loss of Warden Earl Barksdale, 66, of the Baskerville Correctional Center in Mecklenburg County, who passed away on September 9, 2020 of COVID-related causes.
"Nation's Drug Czar Impressed With Richmond Regions Efforts To Address Drug Addiction And Recovery" (Thursday, October 1, 2020 Issue)
The nation’s drug czar on Wednesday said “some truly remarkable” efforts are underway in the Richmond area to address substance abuse disorders and help those addicted to recover, but the coronavirus pandemic has been a blow that’s triggered a disheartening spike in the number of fatal and nonfatal overdoses. “What we know nationally is sadly being repeated here,” Jim Carroll, policy director for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, told a roomful of law enforcement officials and substance abuse recovery specialists in a gathering at a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration field office in Henrico County. “With this shutdown, this COVID, we have seen a spike, a rise in the number of overdoses both fatal and nonfatal,” he added. “And as people are becoming more isolated, there’s that sense of loneliness, being cut off from peer support and being cut off from some of the people that are trying to help them.” “But what we’re also seeing is some of these people losing their jobs, people who are recovering,” said Carroll, who lives in Northern Virginia. “And a lot of times, some of the first jobs they’re going back to are some of the jobs being cut and hit the hardest. And those have really impacted people who are trying to rebuild their lives.” But Carroll came away from Wednesday’s meeting impressed with how Richmond-area community leaders have helped those afflicted with substance abuse disorders. “Really, the reason I wanted to come is [to get a] sense of the people working together and willing to push boundaries, and to make sure that they’re providing treatment to more people in this area,” he said. “And truly, there is some remarkable stuff taking place here that I haven’t seen in a lot of communities.” He singled out Chesterfield County Sheriff Karl Leonard, who has implemented a number of programs including a heroin recovery program at the Chesterfield Jail that a VCU study determined has significantly reduced recidivism among the inmates who graduate. Even those inmates who participated but did not graduate reaped positive benefits, and had a better success rate of not being rearrested and of staying out of jail. During Wednesday’s session, Carroll seemed fascinated with some of Leonard’s more unconventional measures to assist those with drug addictions. “Some of the things I do have pushed the envelope, and some have broken out of the envelope,” Leonard said. For example, Leonard told the gathering that he allows anyone in the community who is unable to get help — and is on the verge of using an addictive substance — to come into the jail off the street and stay “24 hours a day and be with like-minded people in our recovery unit, to help them with the moment they’re in.” “And sometimes that means they stay in our jail up to two days without criminal charges; they are free to go whenever they want,” Leonard said. “The alternative is that they don’t get help and they go get that fatal dose of heroin and die. And that’s what I’m looking at — we’ve got to try and keep as many people alive as we can. We got to provide resources where resources normally have not been available.” "We cannot take conventional approaches to a very unconventional crisis, which this is,” the sheriff said. “Normal ways of approaching this won’t fit. That’s why we have broken out of the box.” Said Carroll: “What he has done, that’s really unique, really different. There are some special things here, and that’s what the president wants me to do, is support those entities that are working.” Other local participants included Henrico Sheriff Alisa Gregory, Henrico Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Feinmel and McShin Foundation President John Shinholser. G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, also joined the discussion. “What I wanted to do is come here, and hear from the folks together as a group, instead of just one-offs” with individual people, Carroll said. “As the principal adviser to the president, I need to see what’s actually working. But I also need to hear — and there were some of those today — what’s not working, because that’s just as important.” “While it’s clear that this is a national problem, it’s going to require community solutions,” added Carroll, who noted that one of his family members has been in recovery for about three years. “And the only way to ensure that we’re spending money wisely and investing in the programs that have results, is being out in the community and talking to the folks and hearing what’s working and what’s not.”
IN MEMORIAM PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A correctional officer at Hampton Roads Regional Jail died on Thursday after family members say he contracted COVID-19 from work.
Superintendent Col. Christopher Walz tells 10 On Your Side Robert Sunukjian, 48, was a valued and dedicated member of the Hampton Roads Regional Jail family with over sixteen and a half years of service.
“We are grateful for his years of service and he will be sorely missed,” added Walz. “We send our heartfelt condolences to his family during this difficult time.”
Although he was not able to discuss specifics on the passing on Sunukjian, an obituary says he passed away after “contracting COVID-19 during an outbreak at work.”
He is survived by his wife of eighteen years.
If you would like to make a donation in Roberts honor, the family is asking donations may be made to the Fraternal Order of Police or your local Humane Society.
Congratulations to the Newlyweds! On August 28, 2020, VCA President Michael Eaves was wed to Jarrell Singleton-Eaves. The Bride is a Captain in the United States Army Military Police. We wish the Newly Weds all the best.
James Adams Named 2020 Coleman Correctional Administrator of the Year by the AJA
VCA member, James H. Adams, Jr., CJM, Assistant Officer in Charge and Technical Director of the Naval Consolidated Brig Chesapeake received the prestigious Ray Coleman Correctional Administrator of the Year award from the American Jail Association during the AJA's Annual Conference which was held virtually. In announcing the award, the AJA Web site stated:
"James H. Adams, Jr., is the Assistant Officer in Charge and Technical Director at Naval Consolidated Brig Chesapeake. Born in Moultrie, Georgia, Mr. Adams enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1981. He served as a Military Policeman until 1989 when he was selected to be a Drill Instructor. In 1990, he was assigned as a Corrections Officer.
Over the next 14 years, Mr. Adams served as a Supervisor in each facet of corrections. Because of his unique background, he was selected to support Operations United Shield (Evacuation of the United Nations Forces from Somalia) and Emerald Express (Demonstration for the SECDEF and Congress of the technology and techniques used in the evacuation). He was then ordered to Headquarters Marine Corps as the Operations Officer and later Deputy Director of Marine Corps Corrections. His last assignment was to the Base Brig at Camp Lejeune where he served as the Brig Officer (Deputy Warden), and Commanding Officer (Warden) until his retirement. After retirement from the Marine Corps, he was hired by the Department of the Navy Corrections as their Western Region Inspector and soon took over as the Operations Officer. He was promoted to his current assignment in 2011.
Mr. Adams has a BAAS degree from Texas State University and MA degrees in management and security management from Webster University. He is an ACA Auditor and a Certified Jail Manager (CJM).
His personal decorations include the Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Gold Star, Air Force Commendation Medal, Joint Services Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, and the Drill Instructor Ribbon. He is also the 2015 recipient of the ACA/MCC Austin MacCormick Award.
He and his wife, Yolanda, have a son, Jonathan, and a daughter, Alisha."
In receiving the award, Jim said, "One of my greatest aspirations and goals has always been to lead, be a positive role model, and teach those young 'hard chargers' who work with me each day. I strive to be a leader who made a positive contribution to the next generation of corrections leaders. This is my promise to them and to the AJA as I represent them as the Correctional Administrator of the Year. Thank you."
Virginia’s Recidivism Rate Falls Even Lower, Remains the Lowest in the Country February 03, 2020 RICHMOND — For the fourth consecutive year, Virginia has the lowest recidivism rate in the country. The newly announced rate of 23.1 percent is down slightly from last year, when Virginia posted a rate of 23.4 percent.
For the first time since Virginia topped the list for the lowest recidivism rate in the country, there is a tie for that top place, as South Carolina appears to have also achieved a 23.1 percent recidivism rate.
Virginia’s recidivism rate remains the lowest among the 42 states that report 3-year recidivism rates by tallying the number of offenders re-incarcerated within three years of their release from prison.
“The heart of the mission of the Department of Corrections is public safety,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “Today, offenders are reentering society more prepared than ever to lead productive lives. Since Director Harold Clarke’s arrival in 2010, we have witnessed a significant and continuing culture shift in the Department of Corrections, where reentry preparation now starts on day one of incarceration.”
Contributing to Virginia’s leading rate are the effective re-entry services, educational programming, and treatment offered in VADOC facilities as well as effective supervision by VADOC probation and parole officers in the community post-release. The VADOC tailors its programming and supervision to address each offender’s criminogenic risks and needs.
“Our success is the result of the collaborative efforts and incredibly hard work of our dedicated staff, community partners, and the returning citizens themselves,” said Virginia Department of Corrections Director Harold Clarke. “When incarcerated men and women successfully reintegrate into society, everyone benefits – the Commonwealth, our communities, and the families – especially the children – of those returning home. We appreciate the support we receive from Secretary Moran, Governor Northam, and the legislature. We wouldn’t see this success without the resources they have dedicated to public safety.”
Of the 12,385 state responsible offenders released from incarceration in Virginia in fiscal year 2015, 2,862 were re-incarcerated within three years. Virginia waits at least four years to calculate the 3-year re-incarceration rate to ensure all court orders are accounted for. All state responsible sentences after release are counted as recidivism in Virginia, including technical violations and sentences for offenses that occurred prior to release. More information can be found on www.vadoc.virginia.gov.
From The Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, March 9, 2020 Past VCA President Vanessa Crawford Receives Award The Petersburg Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to announce Sheriff Vanessa Reese Crawford as this year’s winner of the Dr. F. Nathaniel Gatlin Award. This award will be presented at our Annual Dinner & Meeting on March 19, 2020 at the VSU Multi Purpose Center. For tickets and information, please visit: http://petersburgchamber.chambermaster.com/…/2020-annual-me…
Role model, leader, accomplished, faithful, dedicated, inspiring, philanthropic – these are just a few of the words used by the community, peers, and others to describe Sheriff Vanessa Reese Crawford. She has dedicated her entire life to bettering her community, be it through her work or in her volunteerism. Here are just some of Sheriff Crawford’s accomplishments. Please join us in congratulating Sheriff Crawford! We are so lucky to have such a person in our amazing city of Petersburg!
• First Female to run all male facility in the Virginia Department of Corrections, Retired with over 28 years of service. — From 2014 until 2017, only African American Female Sheriff in the United States. — Only Sheriff in the Commonwealth of Virginia to attain the certification by the Department of Justice as a PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) Auditor • Trustee at Good Shepherd Baptist Church in Petersburg, Va. • Liaison for Security Ministry at Good Shepherd Baptist Church, Petersburg, Va. • President of the Petersburg High School Boosters Club • Past President of the Petersburg Kiwanis Luncheon Club • Unanimously elected by all Sheriffs in Virginia as President (2017-2018) and is the currently the Immediate Past President of the Virginia Sheriff’s Association • Elected as President of the Virginia Correctional Association-2016-2018; Currently, immediate Past President • Formerly a Member and Vice Chair of the Petersburg School Board-2001-2005 (Resigned because elected Sheriff in 2005) • Formerly unanimously elected as President of the Virginia Sheriff’s Institute • Honored in the General Assembly-House of Delegates in 2018 with Joint resolution, HJ 274, in her honor and for her service. • Vice-Chair of the Petersburg Task Force on Domestic Violence- 2017-present • Selected for the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Virginia Correctional Association-2016 • Served 4 terms as President of the Petersburg-Dinwiddie Crime Solvers Board • Named “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year” by YOVASO (Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety) 2013 • Selected as Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen Law Firm Hometown Hero • Elected to serve on the Board of FeedMore, Richmond, Va. 2013-2018 • Received Medal of Merit for the National Sheriff’s Association "Sheriff of the Year" Award-2014, 2015, 2017 • Appointed by the Governor of Virginia, The Honorable Terry McAuliffe, to serve on the Criminal Justice Services Board- July, 2014; Reappointed in July, 2017 • Recognized by Petersburg Citizens as one of Petersburg “Superstars” August, 2017 • Organizing Petersburg Task Force on Domestic Violence Training Institute-October, 2016, 2017, 2018 • Organized the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” Event. A Men’s March Against Domestic Violence.,April 2017 April, 2018 • Organized first Autism Walk in the City of Petersburg, June, 2018 • Formerly honored with 2 resolutions in her honor for her dedication and community service from the House of Delegates, HJ 332 and by the Senate, Senate Joint Bill 182. • Featured in “O” Oprah Magazine as one of “12 Most Politically Unusual” in this country in 2012 • Awarded the Sojourner Truth Award from the Petersburg Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Inc., May, 2018 • Appointed to Governor of Virginia’s, Ralph Northam’s Transition Team, 2018 • Achieved certification through the VSI Certification Program thus VSI Certified (VSIC). March, 2018 • Profiled by FOX TV, WRLH, in honor of Black Women’s History Month-April 2018 • Awarded the MAGNUS Leadership Award from the National Command & Staff College and the Criminal Justice Commission for Credible Leadership Development June, 2017 • Certified auditor for the American Correctional Association • Received the Social Justice Transformer Award from the Community Transformers Foundation, November, 2019 * * * * From The Progress Index, February 17, 2020 Past VCA President Elected Officer of VALECO RICHMOND — Petersburg Sheriff Vanessa R. Crawford has been elected third vice president of the Virginia Association of Local Elected Constitutional Officers. VALECO is the statewide association comprised of Virginia’s local elected sheriffs, clerks of circuit court, commonwealth’s attorneys, commissioners of the revenue and treasurers. Sheriff Crawford was elected unanimously by the membership, assembled at the Association’s annual meeting held in Richmond on Jan. 27 to serve as the organization’s third vice president. VALECO represents the interests of Virginia’s 625 elected constitutional officers, and their more than 16,000 deputies, in legislative and other governmental matters throughout the Commonwealth. Virginia’s five local elected constitutional officers date to colonial days, when the sheriff served the royally-appointed Governor of the colony and exercised broad responsibility for tasks from law and order, to administering elections, to collecting taxes. Direct election of these officers by the people of Virginia’s counties and cities evolved following American independence, with the offices of commissioner of the revenue and treasurer the last to become directly elected through changes introduced in the Constitution of 1870. VALECO was organized in 1976, and for the past 45 years, has provided leadership on dozens of initiatives designed to enhance the quality of public service provided through these historic offices, which stand as a shining example of Thomas Jefferson’s vision of government that is close to the people.
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