Support lowering the age for geriatric release for youthful offenders in Virginia
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Currently the rules for geriatric parole are unbalanced and place an unfair burden on youthful offenders. An 18 year old offender, currently, has to serve 42 years before being "eligible" for geriatric relief. Which does not guarantee relief will be granted. A 50 year old, in contrast, has to serve 10 years to become eligible. We seek to close that gap.
Each year 1000 inmates in Virginia are eligible for geriatric relief, approximately 15 are granted relief. But at 60, and more often, older. Youthful offenders will have lost all of the youth needed to take on entry level jobs, upon their return to society. In many cases, they have lost the support system they once had, family, friends, and any connection they had to the community. The things most needed for potential success upon reentry.
We want the rules to change, to as follows, to be included with the existing rules. Eligibility for offenders reaching the age of 50 and having served at least 25 years. Eligibility at any point after 50 and having served 25 years. And the current rules of eligibility for those reaching 60 years old and serving 10 years, of those reaching 65 years old and having served five.
The cost to not address this to Virginia, is Fiscal and social. Inmates are not eligible for Medicare / Medicaid, and the estimated medical costs for older inmates is 138 million a year. A pew study, estimates the cost per inmate, between the ages of 55- 85, at $70,000 a year. Continued costs for geriatric offenders upon release are incalculable. But there certainly can be an assertion that without a support system, and an inability to physically meet the demands of entry level work. Poverty will ensue. Leading to more expenditure of resources by the community, and the potential for blight, and further victimization. These people need some youth to remain upon release to improve the chance of success.
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