Albemarle court rejects challenge to earned credit
After an Albemarle judge overturned from the bench a challenge to the General Assembly’s last-minute change to a program that granted early release to state inmates with good conduct records, the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia said it plans to appeal the decision. in the state Supreme Court.
“You have to apply the language of the law as it is written,” said Geri Greenspan, attorney for the ACLU of Virginia. “We believe the court in this case failed to do so.”
The case, Anderson v. Clarke and Bowles, is one of two the organization is suing the Virginia Department of Corrections for its interpretation of a provision added to the state budget in June reversing certain sentencing reforms.
In 2020, Democratic-backed legislation allowed Virginia inmates to earn more credit for good behavior or rehabilitation efforts that could reduce their sentences. Whereas previously all inmates could earn up to 4.5 days of “good time” credit for every 30 days served, the new law allowed some to earn up to 15 days for every 30.
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