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VA Residents Want Changes to Juvenile Justice System

Virginians are in strong favor of changes to the juvenile justice system, that’s according to a new poll from Virginia Commonwealth University.

84% of Virginians who were polled support changes to how the state deals with kids who have committed crimes, That’s according to Robyn McDougle, faculty director of VCU’s office of public policy outreach.

“There was strong support across all demographics, across all parties in this idea of doing something different with juveniles in Virginia than what we’re currently doing,” said McDougle.

Currently, the state puts kids in one of two large adult-style prisons near Richmond. Legislators are considering the governor’s proposal to close those facilities and build two smaller ones instead. Then, the state would use the savings to support small, community-based centers so kids can stay near home and family.

More than 90%  of Democrats and Republicans in the state who were polled support that kind of alternative.

The poll, released through a first-ever partnership between VCU’s Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs and the office of Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, also includes details on how Virginians feel about parole, the sex offender registry, and marijuana legalization.

Details on all the results can be found here.