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WhAT’S a “progressive prosecutor?”

With the traditional, punitive approach to justice under fire, and with more incumbents facing challengers than ever before, seemingly every candidate is claiming to be a “progressive prosecutor.” But what does that really mean? And what does meaningful criminal justice reform look like?

 
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Contested RACES in Virginia in 2019

In 2019, voters in at least six Virginia cities and counties—Fairfax County, Arlington/Falls Church, Prince William, Albemarle and Chesterfield—will decide who will shape the future of their local criminal justice system for years to come. Learn more about the candidates and the state of justice in their jurisdictions.

 
 
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Virginia’s BROKEN justice system

Only a handful of states are in the conversation for the harshest criminal justice system in the country, but Virginia is absolutely one of them. Learn about how this state of affairs came to be and how can change it


Prosecutors Make a Big Difference

Commonwealth’s Attorneys—“C.A.’s” for short—are the chief prosecutors in every city and county in Virginia. They are elected every four years, and many are up for re-election in 2019. C.A.’s are the most powerful individuals in the criminal justice system, shaping justice policy, deciding who gets charged with a crime and which crimes to enforce, and even exerting a powerful influence in the legislature .

Unfortunately, the vast majority of elected C.A.’s in Virginia remain moored to old attitudes, out of step with a modern approach to criminal justice. In at least six jurisdictions, Virginia voters have a chance to decide whether their local prosecutors fairly represent their beliefs and values. That’s why we started this initiative — to bring the work of the most powerful actors in our justice system out of the dark so that Virginia can “C.A.” Difference in 2019.