Criminal justice changes in Virginia prompt debate over how prosecutors are funded by the state

Fairfax County, Virginia, boasts the state's most ambitious program to divert cases from criminal prosecution to treatment courts, including for drug offenses and involving veterans. But all of the work by prosecutors to deliver a more therapeutic form of justice ends up penalizing the county under the state's formula for funding of prosecutor offices, which rewards felony convictions. Because the true workload isn't reflected in the funding, Fairfax has faced staffing shortage, leading to conflicts with the police over inaction on certain cases. The state has begun a lengthy study of the issue.

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