CHANTILLY, Va. (WDVM)– As former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe runs for Governor again, he’s released his plan to reform the Commonwealth’s criminal justice system.
McAuliffe hopes to reform Virginia’s criminal justice system with a focus on equity and giving second chances. According to McAuliffe, his priority is working to reform a system that has disproportionately targeted and impacted African Americans for centuries. He also aims towards working to legalize marijuana, reforming outdated expungement laws, expanding access to parole, creating an Office for Returning Citizens and codifying the restoration of voting rights into Virginia’s constitution.
McAuliffe said, “We just need to do more to help people, as they come out out of the criminal justice system moving back into society. We should spend money upfront and provide the resources necessary, to make sure returning citizens will have a successful life as they get on the outside.”
According to officials the plan comes just two weeks after Terry called on the Virginia General Assembly to pass a resolution for a constitutional amendment to automatically restore voting rights to Virginians convicted of felonies. Implementing this policy in Virginia’s Constitution requires the General Assembly to pass resolutions for the amendment during two separate legislative sessions, followed by a ballot referendum approved by voters.
During McAuliffe’s time as Governor, he restored voting rights to over 173,000 Virginians.