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Posted on: August 22, 2023

Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Offices Commit to Improve Public Safety

City County Seals

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 22, 2023


The Albemarle & Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Offices and Central Virginia Community Justice Commit to Improve Public Safety and Racial Equity in Partnership with Vera Institute


CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – Today, the Albemarle & Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Offices and Central Virginia Community Justice announced a new partnership with the Vera Institute of Justice, as part of their Reshaping Prosecution Program’s Motion for Justice programVera will provide Central Virginia Community Justice with financial support to expand its diversion programming and provide the commonwealth’s attorney’s offices with data analysis, staff training, community engagement support, and policy expertise to increase diversion and pursue reforms centered on race equity.

The Motion for Justice program creates pathways for prosecutors to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the communities they serve to create community-informed policies and practices that improve public safety and tackle racial disparities in the criminal legal system.

“We’re excited to receive the Vera Institute’s support for our continuing efforts to use evidence-based diversion practices to reduce recidivism, protect public safety, and promote a healthier community,” said Jim Hingeley, the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Albemarle County.

“Working with Vera will allow our office to evaluate how we might better utilize and implement Restorative Justice while ensuring that the community and its citizens are all kept safe,” commented Joe Platania, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Charlottesville.

“We are grateful for this support from Vera, which will be instrumental in advancing restorative justice as a way of addressing harm in our community,” said Ashley Cinalli-Mathews, co-director, Central Virginia Community Justice

“As a former prosecutor, I know the unique and immense responsibility that prosecutors hold. To improve public safety, we must build stronger connections between prosecutors and the communities they serve,” said Mona Sahaf, acting director of the Reshaping Prosecution initiative at the Vera Institute of Justice. “I am thrilled to partner with the Albemarle & Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Offices and Central Virginia Community Justice to tackle the deep-rooted inequities that continue to impede the safety of our communities.”

About Central Virginia Community Justice
Central Virginia Community Justice provides a brave space for those involved in harm to lead their own accountability and healing. We facilitate restorative conferences to divert cases away from the criminal system, as well as to repair harms outside of the system. Through dialogue, those impacted by harm have voice and agency to address their needs, and those responsible for harm have the opportunity to take accountability through actions and acknowledgement. We envision an equitable and safe Central

Virginia where members of our community find growth, healing, and accountability in restorative approaches to conflict and harm. For more information, visit communityjusticeva.org

About the Vera Institute of Justice
The Vera Institute of Justice is powered by hundreds of advocates, researchers, and policy experts working to transform the criminal legal and immigration systems until they’re fair for all. Founded in 1961 to advocate for alternatives to money bail in New York City, Vera is now a national organization that partners with impacted communities and government leaders for change. We develop just, antiracist solutions so that money doesn’t determine freedom; fewer people are in jails, prisons, and immigration detention; and everyone is treated with dignity. Vera’s headquarters is in Brooklyn, New York, with offices in Washington, DC, New Orleans, and Los Angeles. For more information, visit vera.org.


Media Contacts
James Hingeley
Commonwealth's Attorney
Albemarle County
434-972-4072
jhingeley@albemarle.org

Joe Platania
Commonwealth’s Attorney
City of Charlottesville
434-970-3179
platania@charlottesville.gov

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