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NCJ Number: 202301 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Evaluation of the Virginia Exile Program, Final Report
Author(s): Sherri Johnson; Emily Heineman; Tracey Smith; Donna Walko-Frankovic; Trina Bogle Willard
Corporate Author: Virginia Dept of Criminal Justice Services
Criminal Justice Research Ctr
United States of America
Date Published: July 2003
Page Count: 97
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Virginia Dept of Criminal Justice Services
Richmond, VA 23219
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America

Virginia Dept of Criminal Justice Services
Criminal Justice Research Ctr
1100 Bank St.
Richmond, VA 23219
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis; Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This evaluation of the Virginia Exile Program, which provides State funding for the prosecution of certain firearm offenses, examined program implementation and operation for 10 program sites throughout the State.
Abstract: On July 1, 1999, three amendments to Virginia State law began to impose mandatory minimum sentences and increase penalties for certain firearm offenses. The Exile Program was implemented in January 2000 to provide grant funds to support the prosecution of these offenses. The overall purpose of the program is to reduce gun-related violence in participating localities through the arrest, conviction, and sentencing of persons who violate the statutes. The program also highlights public awareness of the Exile message so as to deter potential offenders. For the 10 sites that participated in the evaluation, the focus was on 646 cases in which Exile charges were brought against a defendant. Of the six Exile offenses, three of them constituted 96 percent of the charges brought. These three offenses were the possession of a firearm and possession of Schedule I or II drugs, possession of a firearm by a nonviolent felon, and possession of a firearm by a violent felon. The three remaining Exile offenses - possession of a firearm and distribution of Schedule I or II drugs, possession of a firearm and distribution of more than one pound of marijuana, and possession of a firearm while on school property - were rarely charged. The defendants were predominantly African-American males between the ages of 18 and 44. Of the 646 cases, 172 were ultimately transferred to the Federal court system for prosecution. Generally, prosecutors and staff had positive views of the program; however, both interviews and case-specific data suggest that the program's deterrent effect could be weakened by the lack of certain punishment. The certainty of a conviction with a full mandatory minimum sentence may be diminished by the normal practices and discretion inherent in the prosecutorial and judicial processes. Evidentiary issues also impacted the prosecutor's ability to obtain a conviction on the provisions of Exile statutes. Recommendations are to modify the statute to remove the presumption against bail for some cooperating defendants; adjust the penalties to differentiate the perceived seriousness between possession of and distribution of illicit drugs; add explanatory language to the statutes to clarify the circumstances under which they apply; develop a coordinated State-level media campaign; review grant program requirements for practicality; review the rarely charged offenses to clarify program focus; expand training in statute provisions for magistrates and judges; and enhance training on Exile issues for local law enforcement personnel. 25 tables, 64 references, and appended relevant statutes
Main Term(s): Effectiveness of crime prevention programs
Index Term(s): Deterrence; Deterrence effectiveness; Prosecution; State laws; Violence prevention; Virginia
Note: Downloaded September 17, 2003.
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