A Complex System

The criminal legal system has many components. The Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney decides whether misconduct should be criminally charged, and for what offense. The Arlington County Police Department controls arrests and the Sheriff’s office operates the detention center. The Community Corrections Unit supervises people on probation and helps people released from incarceration transition to life in the community. The judiciary hears trials and keeps all the pieces running together.

At the same time, the Office of Offender Aid and Restoration operates community service programs, and Restorative Arlington is building new restorative justice programs that treat criminal harm entirely differently. The Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney operates in the center of this system, working with everyone to advance justice and safety close to home.

Yet Arlington is only one piece of the metropolitan area. People move between Arlington, Alexandria, the District of Columbia, Fairfax and more. Each of those jurisdictions has its own prosecuting attorneys, police departments, and so forth, and each of them affects the others. Advancing safety and justice requires cooperation and coordination across departments and jurisdictions.