A 1982 Virginia law meant to reduce recidivism had a pretty simple concept: Three strikes and you’re out. Or, in prison terms, you’re in for good. On this week’s episode, we talk with Virginian-Pilot reporter Tim Eberly about his three-month investigation into the law. Tim interviewed 41 “three-strikers” and found that the majority had never been to prison before and hadn’t harmed anyone in their crimes, and for that, they were serving more time than many murderers. Hear how Tim’s reporting could change the lives of hundreds of inmates affected by the law.
Looking for links to the stories and resources we discussed on this week’s podcast? We’ve collected them for you.
- Read the Virginian-Pilot investigation, “Virginia bureaucrats are keeping nonviolent convicts in prison longer than murderers.”
- Read Tim’s piece that outlines changes made by the parole board as a result of his reporting.
- Members only: Download the tipsheet on “Conducting interviews with inmates in federal prison” by Amy Brittain.
- Members only: Download the tipsheet on “Investigating Bias and Influence in Criminal Justice” by Andy Lehren.
- Want to learn more about investigating prisons? Listen to our podcast episodes “Profiting from Prisoners,” “Life and Death in Lowell” and “Solitary to the Streets.”
Springtime (Podington Bear) / CC BY-NC 3.0
Lumber Down (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0
Clair De Lune (Felt Piano, Rhodes, and Drum Machine Arr.) (Podington Bear) / CC BY-NC 3.0
Relinquish (Podington Bear) / CC BY-NC 3.0
Down and Around (Podington Bear) / CC BY-NC 3.0
Downtown (Podington Bear) / CC BY-NC 3.0
Tessa Weinberg reported this episode. IRE Editorial Director Sarah Hutchins edits the podcast. Blake Nelson draws our episode art. We are recorded in the studios of KBIA at the University of Missouri.