Barbrow does a great job of highlighting the current lack of prosecutorial discretion in Stafford’s Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. As Barbrow so eloquently states, “Justice is not like a baseball cap where one size fits all.”
In citing the now infamous “McMissile” case, Barbrow states in no uncertain terms, “there will be no McMissile cases on my watch.” Thank goodness!
Under his watch, he pledges to fully participate in the Drug Court Program. Stafford County is the only jurisdiction within the area that doesn’t participate in this program. This program allows a first-time offender to avoid a felony conviction by participating in a yearlong, rigorous drug court program. If they fail to complete this, they are then convicted of a felony and receive a six-month sentence. Statistics show that the drug courts work, “Virginia’s Drug Court felony recidivism rate is 5.9% as compared to a 50% felony recidivism rate for other Virginia drug offenders handled in traditional ways of probation or incarceration.”
Not only do they work, but they are also way cheaper than incarceration. On a side, I previously wrote a post on how Stafford County pays $60 per day for each inmate versus $21 per day on each student. Participation in drug courts should be a no-brainer.
He also highlights the fact that there has been a 300 percent increase in the office’s budget over the last decade. We are now spending 54 percent more, per capita, then Spotsylvania County. The size of the staff of the commonwealth’s attorney’s office has also tripled over this same time period. Barbrow concludes that “despite these huge increases in funding crime continues to rise in Stafford County.” He pledges to better maximize the resources of the office in order to save taxpayers money and get results.
He also talks about the need and benefits of a more culturally diverse office, which I covered at length recently. One new tidbit that I didn’t know is that in 72-years there has only been a single African American employed as an assistant commonwealth’s attorney – currently there are none.
Barbrow also stresses the importance of hiring attorney’s who live in the area. Barbrow explains, “Currently, more than three-fourths of the Commonwealth Attorney’s employed by Stafford County do not live in Stafford or the surrounding areas. It’s important because prosecutors should reflect the values of the community.” I couldn’t agree more with Barbrow.
He also notes how important it is that Commonwealth’s Attorney’s don’t “play fast and loose with the rules.” He points out how his opponent was forced to “take down campaign ads because they infringed on someone’s trademark,” how he “accepted an illegal contribution from a foreign national,” and how questions continue to swirl on his residency.
Tim Barbrow is just the sort of fresh voice we need after 72-years of the same family controlling the office. The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office shouldn’t belong to one family, but all the residents of Stafford County. On November 8, let’s vote for a new direction in Tim Barbrow for Stafford Commonwealth’s Attorney!