There are now more than 30,000 people in Virginia prisons, costing taxpayers more than a billion dollars a year.  A growing number are senior citizens with average healthcare costs of $68,000 a year.  The parole board could release many of them, but it’s been freeing less than five percent per year.

Dave Nakayama / Creative Commons

In 1995, Virginia abolished parole -- a change that led to crowding of state prisons and longer stays behind bars.  Now, small cracks have developed in the legal wall that keeps about 30,000 people locked up.  Sandy Hausman reports on changes that could free some inmates.

Life Without Parole: A Five Part Series

May 2, 2016

It’s been more than 20 years since Virginia abolished parole, and over that time the prison population has grown to more than 30,000 people.