Media Contacts
Joseph Platania
Commonwealth’s Attorney
City of Charlottesville
434-970-3176

James Hingeley
Commonwealth's Attorney
Albemarle County
434-972-4072
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 19, 2020
Joint statement from Charlottesville-Albemarle Commonwealth's Attorneys
This past Monday, March 16, 2020, the Chief Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court declared a judicial emergency for all courts in the Commonwealth in order to protect the health and safety of court employees, litigants, judges, the general public, and the Sheriff’s Department employees who provide courtroom security and are responsible for transporting prisoners to court. Previously, on March 12, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam declared a public health emergency. Today, a statewide joint statement from Public Safety Agencies was issued that both the Albemarle and Charlottesville Commonwealth Attorney offices signed onto.  

While placing an emphasis on community wellness and safety, both Commonwealth Attorney offices have been working with judges, court clerks, defense attorneys, law enforcement partners, and the Superintendent of the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail to implement each and every opportunity listed in that joint statement. Locally, we have taken additional steps to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus such as: 

  • Setting emergency hearings and reaching sentencing agreements for those incarcerated on non-violent offenses in the hopes of releasing them from the jail more quickly;

  • Scheduling for immediate reduction to misdemeanors and sentencing appropriate non-violent felony cases pending preliminary hearing;

  • During the judicial and public health emergencies, postponing weekend service of jail sentences and postponing all jail reporting dates for offenders who have been approved for delayed confinement; 

  • Releasing to Home Electronic Incarceration (at no cost to the inmates) health vulnerable individuals as identified by jail medical staff;

  • Greatly increasing the use of video technology to limit courtroom appearances of ACRJ inmates;

and

  • Allowing the Superintendent of the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail to place any non-violent inmate with an active sentence of thirty (30) days or less remaining on Home Electronic Incarceration (at no cost to the inmates).

All of these actions are being taken after the Commonwealth’s Attorneys have carefully considered the individual circumstances in each case and taken into account the recommendations of the Superintendent of ACRJ. All of these actions are also subject to judicial review and approval. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and work with our criminal justice partners to ensure the safety of our communities while treating offenders fairly and working to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Jim Hingeley
Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney

Joe Platania
Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney
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City Council Vision 2025 calls for the City to be a leader in innovation, environmental sustainability, and social and economic justice; to be flexible and progressive in anticipating and responding to the needs of the citizens; and to act as the cultural
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Brian Wheeler, Director of Communications
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