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Virginia Department of Corrections — Public Safety First

State Responsible Forecast Reports

The Secretary of Public Safety is responsible for producing an annual forecast of the number of inmates, adult and juvenile, for whom the state has responsibility. The Secretary must also estimate the number of inmates for whom localities are responsible. These forecasts are essential to estimating future capital needs and operating expenses for prisons, jails and juvenile correctional centers.

These forecasts are produced by three committees using a consensus method. A technical committee employs quantitative methods to make projections based upon past trends and patterns.The forecasts with the best set of statistical properties are recommended by the Technical Advisory Committee for consideration by the Policy-Technical Liaison Work Group. Chaired by the Deputy Secretary of Public Safety, the Liaison Work Group members include deputy directors and senior managers of criminal justice and budget agencies as well as staff of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees. This Work Group provides guidance and oversight for the Technical Advisory Committee, discusses detailed aspects of the projections, and directs technical staff to provide additional data needed for decision making. The Liaison Work Group examines projections presented by the technical committee. A policy committee reviews policy issues that are likely to affect future inmate populations.

The Policy Advisory Committee is chaired by the Secretary of Public Safety and is comprised of representatives from Virginia’s executive, legislative and judicial branches, and local and state law enforcement. Their diverse backgrounds and experiences promote broad discussions of numerous issues in criminal justice. It is the responsibility of the Policy Advisory Committee to discuss those issues that they feel may impact incarcerated populations in the future. Committee discussions include such subjects as the expected level and type of crime in the future, parole grant rates, sentencing guidelines and expected rates of recidivism. Ultimately, the committee will select a scenario it considers the most likely to occur.

The Technical Advisory Committee is chaired by the Deputy Director, Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission. This committee is comprised of technical experts from the Department of Corrections, Department of Criminal Justice Services, Department of Juvenile Justice, Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission, Supreme Court and private research organizations.