Former Governor Warner quietly dropped the Project Exile project and removed the signs at the state border which advertised it. As such, Exile really hasn't been in effect in Richmond since 2002.
That's not true. Warner wanted the signs down because Exile was Governor Gilmore's program and Warner didn't want any acknowledgement of that fact in public. Pure politics. Exile still exists in Richmond on both state and federal levels; it is still being promoted on billboards and buses; the city prosecutor's office has attorneys devoted to these cases, as does the US Attorney's office. True, there is not as much media buzz about the program, but that is to be expected since it is a well-established, well-operating program now.
"Virginia Exile" still exists under Va. Code 18.2-308.2 (and other sections) and I know the local prosecutor's office has a prosecutor dedicated to prosecuting these cases. I'm not sure if the feds are still as interested as they once were, but they seldom came out to the counties anyway.It's still advertised - both on TV (see the video I have up this week) and on radio. However, the radio ads aren't very effective. They hook you with the idea of how bad prison will be and then they tag themselves at the end with "Project Exile, the tough side of Project Safe Neighborhoods", instantly bringing to mind Mr. Rogers and blowing the entire mood set up by the commercial.
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