CRIMINAL JUSTICE + POLICING

Emporia is a well-known speed trap, dreaded by heavy-footed drivers who might think the city near the border of North Carolina funds its operations entirely through the punishment of too-fast drivers.But 124 miles away, there's a town that relies on bad drivers’ traffic fines and similar payments more than...
The same advocates. The same arguments. Many of the same pieces of legislation.Five hours of public testimony on gun safety legislation Tuesday tread familiar ground in a statehouse that’s been debating the issues in tightly-packed committee rooms for decades.A Falls Church City Council member pleaded with lawmakers to allow...
A researcher at Boston University told a state panel weighing gun legislation Monday that passing three new firearms laws in Virginia could lead to 124 fewer homicides a year – an estimate she said she considers conservative.Claire Boine, who co-authored a study on the most effective policies in reducing...
Inmates at Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women weren’t particularly surprised when Margie Ryder died last month.Sad, yes. But sick inmates at Fluvanna die with frequency.In 2016, a judge approved a settlement of a lawsuit brought by inmates alleging medical care at the facility was so poor it violated inmates’...
Taking cues from other states and cities that have implemented them, Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, wants Virginia to establish more programs that encourage people to leave violent lifestyles in order to curb shooting deaths.Weeks after the General Assembly abruptly adjourned a special session called to address gun violence after...
WASHINGTON -- In the wake of two devastating mass shootings over the weekend, Virginia Democrats are imploring the U.S. Senate to vote on sweeping gun control legislation the U.S. House passed in February. After the shootings in El Paso and Dayton, which killed at least 29 people and injured many...
A federal appeals court ruling last month, combined with Attorney General Mark Herring’s announcement today that he won’t appeal, means Virginia’s habitual drunkard law is effectively dead.“The General Assembly should have taken this strange and regressive law off the books a long time ago, but now that the court...
Methamphetamine arrests and overdose deaths are climbing in Virginia, reflecting a national trend amid a crackdown on opioids.Seizures of methamphetamine spiked between 2017 and 2018, NPR reported, marking a national resurgence of the highly addictive stimulant that Virginia has also seen.Preliminary data from the Office of the Chief Medical...
The state forensic science lab plans to distribute 15,000 field tests to police departments around Virginia that will help officers distinguish between hemp and marijuana plants, which can appear identical but carry very different legal implications.“You can’t tell the difference … without some kind of quantitative testing,” said Linda...
Every summer, the Virginia State Police publishes an annual compendium of crime in the commonwealth that tallies offenses ranging from arson and assault to prostitution and drug possession.The latest 500-page report, released earlier this month in PDF form, shows violent crimes and property crimes are down while vice offenses...