City of Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Criminal Justice Services
Alexandria Criminal Justice Services (ACJS) is a vital agency of the City's criminal justice system. The program serves two purposes: supervising offenders and defendants in the community on behalf of the court system, and providing to the courts information on misdemeanant defendants during the arraignment/bond review process. The program fulfills its mission from two operational components-- local probation and pretrial services.
Local probation provides supervision and services for mainly misdemeanant offenders who are placed on probation supervision by the courts. Pretrial services provides an alternative to jail for defendants awaiting trial who are placed on pretrial supervision by the courts. Pretrial services also provides background reports on newly arrested defendants to the courts to assist in release decisions at arraignment.
ACJS fulfills a statutory mandate by the Virginia General Assembly in the Comprehensive Community Correction Act (53.1-180) by providing alternative sentencing for local offenders for whom the court may impose a jail sentence, but who may benefit from community-based sentencing. Pretrial services fulfill a similar statutory mandate in the Pretrial Services Act (19.2-152.2) by providing services to judicial officers related to bail procedures and to provide supervision and services to defendants release on bail to ACJS. The same statues also call for the Alexandria Community Criminal Justice Board (CCJB) to oversee the community corrections and pretrial services available to the judiciary and criminal justice system for the local offender population. ACJS serves as staff to the Board. Local probation began in 1997; pretrial services began in 2001; the CCJB was created by City Ordinance in 1995. The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services allocates grant funds for the operation of ACJS.
Local Probation provides short-term supervision and services for adults convicted of Class I or Class 2 Misdemeanors and nonviolent felony offenses. An offender maybe placed on Local Probation by the courts at the time of sentencing. Local Probation Officers supervise offenders until the court-ordered obligations are completed, usually for six months. Participants may be required to abide by the following conditions:
Participants may also be ordered into any of the following:
Participants' progress is reported to the courts, eliminating the need for a return court date for successful completions. Noncompliant participants are returned to court for the judge's decision on imposition of jail sentences.
There are two parts to pretrial services: (1) to provide supervision and services to defendants released on bail to ACJS while awaiting trial, and (2) to provide background reports on newly arrested defendants to the courts to assist in release decisions at arraignments. Participants are supervised by Pretrial Officers until final disposition of the cases is made. While on pretrial supervision, defendants must abide by the conditions of release ordered by the court. These conditions may include:
Providing background reports on newly arrested defendants for the courts, which is the second part of pretrial services and includes completing investigations of the defendants to assess their likelihood of appearing for trial and their risk to public safety. The investigation is not designated to examine the circumstances of the current charge or to encourage self-incriminatory statements. Pretrial Officers conduct face-to-face interviews, perform criminal history record checks, verify information, and combine the information into reports. The reports, in addition to bail recommendations, are presented to the court at arraignment.
The ACJS office is located across the street from the Courthouse in Tavern Square. The entrance to 421 King Street is close to the intersection of King and Pitt Streets. The King Street Metro is the closest station.
From the Beltway: