Incarceration should include re-entry program

The editorial staff of The Free Lance–Star provided an outstanding commentary on the “solitary confinement” issue [“Ruling establishes cruelty of solitary confinement,” May 29].

The editorial was well-balanced and supported the 4th Circuit’s decision on cruel and unusual punishment.

People are in solitary for many reasons. The saddest of all: those who have committed murder. Many others will be placed in solitary awaiting release back into society.

Governor Northam and the General Assembly have helped considerably to bring our prison standards into the 21st century, but more needs to be done in re-entry programs.

Several years ago, a warden in a Midwest prison started a program of re-entry which began when a prisoner first walked into the prison in the hope of working on corrective behaviors, securing employment when released, and counseling for improved life skills.

Virginia would do well to consider such a program.

Kevin Raymond

Dale City

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