Our Community's Values in the Courthouse
It’s important to better understand our community and how our justice system interacts with it daily. Therefore, Commonwealth’s Attorney Descano has formed the Justice Advisory Council. The purpose of this council is to hear from local voices, discuss the potential for better processes, exchange data, group think policy ideas, and help lead the fight for tangible justice reform.
For more information about this new program, please contact our office.
Criminal Justice Reforms
Commonwealth’s Attorney Descano has embarked on a groundbreaking reform agenda. The office has implemented policies that make our community safer while addressing racial and socioeconomic inequities in our criminal justice system, stemming the tide of mass incarceration, and elevating a holistic, values-based approach to prosecution over a reflexively punitive one.
Justice Advisory Council
This group will be made up of community representatives from throughout Fairfax County: heads of nonprofits, advocates, activists, faith leaders, business owners, and everyday community members will be meeting with this office regularly.
Any resident of Fairfax County or Fairfax City can apply to be a part of the Justice Advisory Council.
Serving Our Community
The Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office serves our community by keeping it safe, reflecting its values, and ensuring justice is done. One of the ways in which the Office achieves these goals is by handling a notably wider array of cases than is statutorily required.
Current Caseload Capacity
Commonwealth’s Attorney’s offices are only obligated to prosecute felony cases in Circuit Court and appeals to Circuit Court from the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. By contrast, this Office strives to do much more by additionally prosecuting misdemeanor and traffic cases, well beyond statutory requirements. However, as the most underfunded Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office in Virginia, this Office must deploy its limited resources with the objective of prosecuting the largest number of cases possible while maintaining the ability to give each case the individual time and attention it deserves and our community expects. There are no shortcuts to justice—only injustice in the absence of thorough and ethical prosecutorial work.
The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office has partnered with other Fairfax County agencies and community-based service providers and established a Veterans Treatment Docket, a Drug Court, Diversion First, and a pilot Mental Health/Supervised Release Program Docket.
For more information about any of these programs or dockets, please contact our office.
Diversion First offers alternatives to incarceration for people with mental illness or developmental disabilities, who come into contact with the criminal justice system for low level offenses. The goal is to intercede whenever possible to provide assessment, treatment or needed support.
Veterans Treatment Docket
The Fairfax County Veterans Treatment Docket is a court-supervised, comprehensive treatment program. All participants have been determined to have substance use issues and/or have other diagnosed mental health conditions. Participants in this program will undergo "supervision" (i.e., regular court appearances before the Veterans Treatment Docket Judge) and "treatment" (which includes drug testing, individual counseling and group counseling provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs or Fairfax County facilities).
The court’s mission is to enhance public safety through cost-effective, research-based interventions that integrate treatment and court supervision. As a result, the program will save lives, save money and reduce recidivism by breaking the cycle of addiction.
The pilot Mental Health / Supervised Released Program Docket was established in October 2018 in the General District Court. The docket is aimed at addressing mental health and co-occurring substance abuse issues amongst defendants at various stages in the criminal justice system. To date, 130 individuals have been connected with services through this docket, which addresses the cases with a multi-disciplinary approach.
In January 2019, the application for creation of a Mental Health Court was finalized and submitted to the Virginia Supreme Court for approval. The Mental Health Docket has been approved by the Virginia Supreme Court and will officially launch in Fairfax County in July 2019.
Freedom of Information Act requests - Pursuant to Code 2.2-3704.2, the Office of the Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney has designated Deputy Kyle Manikas as our Freedom of Information Act Officer as officially listed on: http://foiacouncil.dls.virginia.gov/foiacouncil.htm. Any requests should be submitted in writing with attention to Kyle Manikas by fax at (703) 691-4004 or to 4110 Chain Bridge Rd, Suite 114, Fairfax, VA 22030.
Please confirm that your FOIA request has been officially received after submittal as we strive to meet all requests in a timely fashion.