Decriminalization of marijuana possession won’t necessarily affect those already caught up in the system
Simple possession of an ounce or less of marijuana is set to be decriminalized in Virginia on July 1. But that won’t prevent Harrisonburg resident Christopher Jones, a cook at O’Neill’s Grill, from being sent to jail later that month if it’s what the prosecutor seeks.
Keys to stemming rising jail population could be in the numbers. The question now is how to find them.
While the local jail population continues to grow, the record-keeping systems used by law enforcement, the courts and other pieces of the local criminal justice system remain stuck in the past, complicating efforts to understand what’s driving that population growth or to begin addressing it. Within a year, however, new insight into local criminal justice trends could be coming from two different sources.