It is the purpose of this article to enable any city, county or combination thereof to develop, establish, and maintain a local community-based probation services agency to provide the judicial system with sentencing alternatives for certain misdemeanants or persons convicted of felonies that are not felony acts of violence, as defined in § 19.2-297.1 and sentenced pursuant to § 19.2-303.3, for whom the court imposes a sentence of 12 months or less and who may require less than institutional custody.
The article shall be interpreted and construed so as to:
1. Allow individual cities, counties, or combinations thereof greater flexibility and involvement in responding to the problem of crime in their communities;
2. Provide more effective protection of society and to promote efficiency and economy in the delivery of correctional services;
3. Provide increased opportunities for offenders to make restitution to victims of crimes through financial reimbursement or community service;
4. Permit cities, counties or combinations thereof to operate and utilize local community-based probation services specifically designed to meet the rehabilitative needs of selected offenders; and
5. Provide appropriate post-sentencing alternatives in localities for certain offenders with the goal of reducing the incidence of repeat offenders.
1980 c. 300, § 53.1-180; 1982, c. 636; 1983, c. 344; 1990, c. 578; 1992, c. 196; 1994, 2nd Sp. Sess., cc. 1, 2; 1995, cc. 502, 574; 1996, c. 568; 2000, c. 1040; 2001, c. 844; 2002, c. 491; 2007, c. 133.