On the Issues

Prosecutors are an incredibly powerful part of the criminal justice system. They determine how limited resources are spent by deciding what crimes to prosecute, how to prosecute those crimes, and who is prosecuted.  These decisions have long-lasting impacts on law enforcement, defendants, and victims and survivors.  Who we put in the prosecutor’s office has enormous consequences for our families, neighbors, and community.  Parisa will ensure transparency, fairness and accountability at every stage of the process.

For almost 20 years, Parisa has been on the front lines of the battle for criminal justice reform.  She will continue that long overdue fight as Commonwealth’s Attorney for Arlington and the City of Falls Church.

Prevent Crime

A prosecutor can take steps to prevent crime and to make victims and survivors feel comfortable reporting crimes so that perpetrators can be found quickly. To support crime prevention Parisa will:

  • Educate young people about consent, substance abuse, and responsible use of technology
  • Direct more resources to violent crime and fraud
  • Engage the community
  • Improve rape kit collection

Focus on Serious Crime

When someone is caught breaking the law, a prosecutor decides what crimes to charge them with, how to charge them or whether to pursue charges against them at all. To focus on serious crime, it is important to direct resources where they belong by diverting appropriate cases out of the criminal justice system. Parisa will:

  • Work with school officials to end the school-to-prison pipeline
  • Support decriminalization of marijuana
  • Support increasing the felony larceny threshold
  • Develop systems to support treatment of addiction and mental illness
  • Respond to hate crimes with the seriousness they deserve

Pursue Justice

Once someone has been charged, the prosecutor decides how to treat them and how to resolve the case. To ensure that all members of the community are treated fairly, Parisa will:

  • Eliminate civil asset forfeiture without a conviction
  • End cash bail
  • Adopt open-file discovery
  • Offer fair plea deals

Engage in Fair Sentencing

After someone has been found guilty, the prosecutor chooses what punishment to recommend, including whether and how much prison time is appropriate.  To ensure fair sentencing for all members of the community, Parisa will:

  • Support elimination of driver’s license suspension for non-payment of fees and fines
  • Protect immigrants by avoiding unfair charges that could result in deportation
  • Never seek the death penalty

Help the Community Move Forward After a Crime

The community often feels the effects of crime even after the perpetrator has been punished. A prosecutor can help encourage community healing by providing services to victims and survivors and working with returning citizens to prevent them from becoming repeat offenders. Parisa will:

  • Support victims and survivors
  • Promote restorative justice
  • Assist re-entry to reduce recidivism

Be Accountable to the Community

A prosecutor should be accountable to the public by periodically reviewing their procedures and outcomes to ensure accuracy and root out bias. Parisa will:

  • Create internal policies and ethical standards
  • Free the innocent
  • Collect and share data
  • Identify and address racial and economic disparities