The Committee: The Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys (VACA) Committee on Justice and Professionalism, established in September of 2014, serves as a forum for Virginia prosecutors to share information, collaborate on case reviews, remain current on legal and investigative trends, and avoid erroneous convictions. Committee members include elected Commonwealth’s Attorneys and deputies from a diverse range of counties and cities throughout Virginia. The committee had initially been funded in part by a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, and now is supported by VACA.
The committee meets on a regular basis and its members have been assigned to address key topics including discovery, ethics and integrity, forensics, special victims, and technology. The work on these issues is ongoing.
Some of Virginia’s Committee on Justice and Professionalism Accomplishments:
- University of Richmond Law School Partnership: The Committee has partnered with the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond to create “The Prosecution Project,” a clinic for law students who have demonstrated an interest in a prosecution career. In 2016, the seminar focused on two best practices areas: use of force and discovery. The students then presented their work on at the Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ Services Council Spring Institute, a four-day training for all Virginia prosecutors in April 2016. For the Spring 2017 seminar, the students focused on a comprehensive study of Brady issues, and again presented at the prosecutors’ training in April. Read
- The Right Thing – Every Time, Ethical Guidelines for Virginia’s Prosecutors: The committee distributed these ethics guidelines to all of the Commonwealth’s Attorneys in Virginia. Read
“The J&P Committee has quickly become an integral part of our association. Our members bring wide breath of issues and topics for discussion that really benefit all of us and as a result, the communities we serve.”
— Theo Stamos, Commonwealth’s Attorney, Arlington County/City of Falls Church
Contact Information: Mike Herring, Richmond County Commonwealth’s Attorney, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Theo Stamos, Arlington County/City of Falls Church Commonwealth’s Attorney, Tstamos@arlingtonva.us.