Claire Guthrie Gastanaga, executive director of the ACLU of Virginia and William Ruger, vice president for research at the Charles Koch Institute, recently co-wrote an op-ed for The Virginian-Pilot outlining how the state could embrace criminal justice and policing reforms that addressed concerns for public safety. As they write:
Dollars and cents are only a part of the deeper human and social costs that come with a flawed criminal justice system. Oversentencing (when punishments are grossly disproportionate to the crime), is a prime example of how an excessively tough-on-crime approach disrespects the dignity of those who make mistakes and are caught up in the system. And it only increases lost opportunities for those individuals and the burden faced by their families and communities.