After graduating from the University of Notre Dame on an R.O.T.C. scholarship and serving on active duty with the United States Army, Bob McDonnell moved to Hampton Roads, earned his law degree, and became a prosecutor in the Virginia Beach Commonwealth Attorney’s office.
As a prosecutor in Virginia Beach, Bob McDonnell successfully put rapists, murderers, and drunk drivers behind bars. In the House of Delegates, where he served for 14 years as Assistant Minority Leader and Chairman of the Courts of Justice Committee, he was a consistent, strong advocate for law enforcement, public safety, and victims’ rights.
Bob worked closely with Governor Allen, helping lead the effort in the House of Delegates to invest in local law enforcement and abolish parole to establish truth in sentencing.
In 1996, he was the chief patron of Governor Allen’s successful legislation to reform the state’s juvenile justice system, combining tougher sentences for violent teens with practical rehabilitation programs to help young people turn their lives around.
In 1999, he was chief sponsor of Governor Gilmore’s Virginia’s SABRE legislation that enacted tougher penalties for drug dealers, and pushed legislation to establish stiffer penalties for drunk driving – one of the leading causes of death in Virginia. He also championed stronger laws to crack down on drug dealers.
For his strong support of law enforcement, Bob McDonnell received the “Legislator of the Year” award from both the Virginia Sheriff’s Association and the Virginia Fraternal Order of Police.
As the 44th Attorney General, Bob McDonnell quickly worked to implement all of his campaign promises to promote a safe and strong Virginia. Within the first two years in Office, he strengthened our Commonwealth Preparedness laws as well as dramatically enhanced laws regarding sex offenders and Internet predators.
Attorney General McDonnell worked to protect our most vulnerable citizens, namely children and the elderly. In addition, he began an aggressive agenda to address the growing tide of gang crime in the Commonwealth.
He fought Medicaid fraud and elder abuse, worked to improve Virginia’s laws prohibiting manufacture and sales of counterfeit goods, and dedicated resources to fight identity theft.
Later in his term when the state budget was significantly impacted by the downturn in the economy, Bob McDonnell was among the first in state government to stand up to ensure that necessary cuts in much of state and local government did not impact public safety.
Attorney General McDonnell was also a leader in the efforts to end domestic violence by creating a program that recognizes localities that demonstrate innovate methods of combating, reducing, and responding to domestic violence and hosting a summit where $145,000 in new Verizon grants were awarded to 19 domestic violence prevention organizations all across Virginia.
Bob McDonnell’s combination of compassion for the victims of crime, commitment to ensure that criminals repay their debt to society, and a firm hand to stop the revolving door of our criminal justice system by providing the tools necessary to return inmates as productive citizens, have and will continue to make Virginia safer and stronger for present and future generations.
As Governor, Bob McDonnell will continue to be a leader in the fight to keep our communities safe. He will work closely with our local public safety leaders to ensure that they have the resources they need to protect our families and our children and will continue his strong, proven record to enhance and improve our criminal justice system.
“Continuing the Commitment to Make Virginia a Safer Place to Work and Raise a Family” plan is highlighted by the following proposals
- Requiring a form of intensive lifetime monitoring of violent sexual predators not eligible for civil commitment but who continue to pose a danger to society
- Proposing that the penalty for a convicted sex offender who fails to register for Virginia’s Sex Offender Registry be elevated to a Class 6 felony
- Creating a Domestic Violence Prevention Advisory Board to advise on domestic violence issues
- Improving the protective order system by clarifying our current laws and simplifying the process
- Making Virginia’s protective order forms more consistent with neighboring states to enhance cross-jurisdictional enforcement
- Making the commission of a violent crime in the presence of a child a separate Class 4 felony
- Expediting the process to remove children from abusive and neglectful homes by having appeals for termination of parental rights go directly to the Court of Appeals rather than Circuit Court
- Cracking down on career drug dealers by proposing tougher mandatory minimum sentences for repeat offenders
- Breaking the cycle of addiction by supporting and encouraging the use of drug treatment court programs
- Increasing mandatory fees for convicted criminals
- Strengthening the juvenile justice system
- Supporting growth and expansion of the Commonwealth Challenge Program for youth offenders
- Requiring juveniles charged with repeat violent felonies to be tried as adults in circuit court
- Cracking down on crimes against the elderly
- Combating identity theft
- Ensuring crime doesn’t pay by strengthening asset forfeiture
To read the full plan please, please visit here.
“Making Virginia a Gang-Free Zone” plan is highlighted by the following proposals
- Appoint a new State “Anti-Gang Coordinator,” at the deputy secretary level using existing resources
- Aid individual localities in replicating a version of Richmond’s successful and nationally recognized Gang Reduction and Intervention Program (GRIP)
- Expand prevention programs like “Class Action” and “Badges for Baseball”
- Assess certain state agencies to determine if we are best utilizing their assets in fighting gangs
- Expand the role of the State Police in Anti-Gang Task Forces, gang investigations, and the development of gang intelligence
- Reallocate existing resources within the Department of Corrections to improve our ability to identify, track, control and debrief gang members who are within prison walls
- Support Community Corrections efforts and require effective implementation of prisoner reentry plans
- Expand “gang-free school zones” into “gang-free zones”
- Toughen penalties for gang recruitment at all levels
- Broaden gang recruitment statute to specifically include new electronic mediums
- Amend the gang participation statute to include “any felony” committed on behalf of a gang, as well as certain misdemeanors