Scott Miles, Commonwealth’s Attorney for Chesterfield County, will not be facing any Democratic challengers ahead of the November general election, according to an announcement by the Chesterfield County Democratic Committee earlier today.
The community’s response to Miles’ reform platform carried him to a landmark victory in the 2018 special election campaign. Miles has since received praise from community members for criminal justice reform with positive results. After seeing what he can do in just a few months, Chesterfield residents are eager to ensure that Scott Miles gets four years to prove that he can establish the best practices in their criminal justice system.
Some of the new policies implemented by Miles’ administration include reducing the use of cash bail for defendants, increasing flexibility on marijuana and suspended driver’s license misdemeanors, and establishing a community engagement initiative.
“In the nearly six months I’ve been in office, I’ve been able to fulfill many of the promises I made on the campaign trail,” said Miles. He went on to say that his office has made “significant improvements to how this part of our local government serves the community.”
The problem is, since he was elected in a special election last year, he only has 12 months to put these policies in place and prove that they work. There is already some evidence of success with their new policy of reducing cash bail for defendants. A quote from this recent Village News article presents early evidence. “Nonetheless, the “no bail” policy, along with another regarding simple marijuana possession, has coincided with a 12-percent reduction in the number of defendants who required pre-trial services in December vs. October, the last month before Miles began.
“Sheriff Karl Leonard, who oversees of the Chesterfield Jail, said the jail had 898 inmates as of Dec. 1. It had 825 on Dec. 31 and 842 on Jan. 31.“
But still, the time constraint of less than one year to revamp an old and outdated is not holding him back at all.
Miles said in a press release on Friday that he can now start to focus on more “longer-term initiatives like a drug case diversion program to encourage those suffering from substance abuse disorder to commit themselves to treatment and recovery, discovery reform to promote fairness in our courthouse, and asset forfeiture reform to ensure that we only seize property accumulated by profitable criminal enterprises in order to disrupt their operations.“
Give Scott more time, Chesterfield. We all deserve a chance to see the positive results that continue to come from his office.