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Some Virginia prisoners will be eligible for early release

Prison cell
A new state law that takes effect in July expands a program that allows some people to shorten their sentences. (Photo: RODNAE Productions)

State officials say more than 4,500 people housed in Virginia prisons are scheduled to be released early this summer

A new state law that takes effect in July expands a program that allows some people to shorten their sentences. 

They now can earn up to 15 days off for every 30 days they’re confined — if they exhibit good behavior and take part in prison rehabilitation programs

Many victim advocates and Republican lawmakers opposed the change. Supporters cited national studies that show expanding these programs reduces recidivism.

According to the Department of Corrections, there are 23,730 people incarcerated in Virginia’s 26 prisons. The state has one of the lowest recidivism rates in the nation at 23.9%.

A spokesperson for DOC said the releases will take place during a 60-day window between July 1 and Aug. 30.

The earned sentence credit program excludes people who are incarcerated for some violent crimes, including voluntary manslaughter, kidnapping and robbery.