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Decision Virginia Archive 8/08- 7/12

McDonnell appoints Doug Wilder’s son Larry to position

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It was a program that then candidate, Bob McDonnell mentioned often on the campaign trial. A program that would be the first of its kind in Virginia. The Virginia Prisoner and Juvenile Offender Re-Entry Council, will offer ex-offenders the opportunity to adjust back into normal society.

The Governor unveiled the program this morning and introduced the program’s coordinator Banci Tewolde. Tewolde will be assisted in this effort by Public Safety Marla Graff Decker and the son of former Governor L. Douglas Wilder,  Lawrence “Larry” D. Wilder Jr. You can see the entire press release on the program after the jump.

The younger Wilder will serve as the Special Assistant on Re-entry Education. Wilder is an attorney and former member of the Virginia House of Delegates.

He also had his own trouble with the law.  In 2000, Larry Wilder pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of simple cocaine possession. He was given probation at the time.  In 2007, he pleaded guilty to mismanaging more than $170,000 of his father’s gubernatorial campaign fund. The charge led to a 12 month suspended sentence and several fines.

According to McDonnell Communications Director Tucker Martin,  Wilder’s entire background is part of what makes him the best candidate for this position.  ” (Wilder) possesses a valuable personal perspective on this issue,”  said Martin.  “The Governor believes everyone deserves an opportunity, that is what his prisoner re-entry program is all about.”

Wilder’s father, the former Governor of Virginia and Mayor of Richmond, played a major role in McDonnell’s campaign for Governor.  McDonnell often spoke glowingly of his relationship with the first black Governor in America, especially when he spoke to African-American crowds.  Wilder did not end up endorsing McDonnell, but his decision to not endorse the Democrat Creigh Deeds, was seen as a major coup for the Republican.

You can see the bio the McDonnell Administration released regarding the Wilder appointment after the jump:


Lawrence D. “Larry” Wilder, Special Assistant on Re-entry Education

Lawrence D. “Larry” Wilder, Jr. has over 20 years experience in designing, developing and implementing community and economic development models. Wilder most recently served as a consultant with Unisphere Development Strategies, which focused on creating innovative business and investment strategies that fostered economic opportunity in low-income communities.

Immediately prior to Unisphere, Wilder served as Strategic Markets Director in the Los Angeles office for Urban America, an investment advisor and asset manager specializing in the urban real estate investment niche.  In addition, he served as political liaison and worked on special projects for the President/CEO.

Wilder began his legal career at Wilder & Gregory in Richmond, Virginia. During 14 years practicing law Wilder served as counsel to state and local governmental entities. Subsequent to his law practice, Wilder held a variety of finance-related positions with public and private sector entities, including the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System, Jackson Securities, and The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation.

Wilder earned both his BA (Economics) and JD degrees from the University of Virginia.  He also holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. He served as a business advisor with Pacific Community Ventures. Wilder is a member of the Richmond Community Development Alliance.  Wilder served in the Virginia General Assembly House of Delegates from 1992-1994.


Here is their release on the prisoner re-entry program

Governor McDonnell Unveils Prisoner Re-Entry Initiative

~Issues Executive Order #11 Establishing Virginia Prisoner and Juvenile Offender Re-Entry Council~

Banci Tewolde Serving as State’s First Prisoner Re-Entry Coordinator

Signs Public Safety Legislation Which Will Divert Non-Violent Offenders from Incarceration, Assist Prisoners in Working Off Court Costs

RICHMOND- At a press conference this morning, Governor McDonnell announced his initiatives to strengthen the prisoner re-entry program in Virginia, thus increasing safety in communities and neighborhoods and lessening the chances of recidivism.  The Governor was joined by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, State Senators Ryan McDougle (R-Hanover) and Dave Marsden (D-Burke), Delegates Tommy Wright (R-Victoria) and Mark Keam (D-Vienna), and other state and local officials at today’s event.  As a part of this initiative, the Governor issued Executive Order #11 that establishes the Virginia Prisoner and Juvenile Offender Re-Entry Council, with the intent to promote collaborative re-entry strategies for adult and juvenile offenders.  The Governor also signed two pieces of public safety legislation during the press conference which will divert non-violent offenders from incarceration and assist prisoners in working off court costs accrued.  Both as a delegate for 14 years and as Attorney General, Governor McDonnell was a champion for public safety and the rehabilitation of offenders before and after their release.  He was a patron or co-patron of several pieces of legislation to improve the likihood of offenders becoming productive members of society.

Speaking about the initiative, Governor McDonnell remarked, “As Governor, and throughout my career in public service, my number one priority has been, and continues to be to ensure the safety of Virginians and to find ways to make Virginia a safer place to live, work and raise a family.  Effective re-entry policies can improve public safety, reduce victimization, improve outcomes for offenders returning to their communities, and reduce recidivism.  We must assist prisoners re-entering the community in their effort to succeed, rather to re-offend.”

The Governor continued by saying, “This Council established today is a state-wide effort.  We must recognize the efforts of non-profit and faith-based organizations, as well as local governments, who have been integral in this cause, and find ways to support them as they continue to provide opportunities to offenders to facilitate successful community re-integration.  By implementing a comprehensive re-entry strategy, this Council will take the necessary steps to ensure that we are doing all we can do to assist offenders who have accepted responsibility for their actions and want to become productive members of society.”

Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli added, “Individual re-entry plans that recognize some individuals’ need for mental health treatment are important to me.  I look forward to working with the Governor to design and implement a re-entry program that will improve the lives of adult and juvenile offenders, as well as the safety of our communities.”

The Virginia Prisoner and Juvenile Offender Re-Entry Council will identify existing barriers that impede successful transition of offenders returning to their communities and develop and implement recommend actions to overcome those obstacles.  Additionally, the Council will establish partnerships among community colleges, business partners, local service agencies, community-based social service and faith-based communities to promote successful re-entry policies and programs.  Each year, the Council will provide the Governor with recommendations and updates regarding actions taken to improve offender transitional and re-entry services.  Banci Tewolde, the state’s first Prisoner Re-Entry Coordinator, will join Secretary of Public Safety Marla Graff Decker in leading the Council.

*Executive Order #11 can be found here:

Public Safety Legislation Signed by Governor McDonnell:

SB 670 (McDougle) – Payment of fines and costs by DOC inmates

HB 927 (R Bell) – Immediate sanction probation


Written by Ryan Nobles

May 11, 2010 at 6:30 pm

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