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:
- Report to the ACJS office on the day of the trial or on the next work day following release from jail
- Sign Conditions of Supervision and Consent for Release of Information
- Office visits with Probation Officer
- Random drug/alcohol testing
- Home and employment verification
- Supervised payment of court costs, fines and/or restitution
- Perform Community Service
- Any other special conditions imposed by the court or ACJS
Participants may also be ordered into any of the following:
- Substance Abuse Education
- Substance Abuse Treatment/Counseling
- Shoplifters' Program
- Anger Management Classes
- Batterers Intervention Classes
- Mental Health evaluation and any necessary treatment.
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:
- Weekly office contact with Pretrial Officer
- Random drug testing
- Regular telephone contact with the ACJS office
- Attendance of a substance abuse group
- Any other special conditions of release and report compliance to the courts. In the event of noncompliance, the defendant will be re-arrested and brought before the judge, who may order the defendant to remain in jail until trial.
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.
ACJS Office Location – 421 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314
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.
Take Route 395 south to G.W. Parkway, and follow it south toward Mount Vernon. In Old Town Alexandria, make a left turn onto King Street. Follow it past the Courthouse to 421 King Street, which is close to the intersection of King and Pitt Streets.
From the Beltway:
Take Exit 177 off the Beltway for downtown Alexandria. At the first light, turn right on Franklin Street. Proceed for five blocks and turn left onto Pitt Street. Stay on Pitt Street for six blocks to King Street. The office is in the second building to the right on the north side of King Street.