I am running for State’s Attorney for Prince George’s County because I know that improving public safety is critical for Prince George’s County to realize its full potential. As the top law enforcement officer in the County, I will make your security my first and highest priority. I will operate the office in a transparent, impartial, and compassionate manner to provide justice and fairness to both victims and those accused of crime.
Prosecuting Domestic Violence and Abuse
Roughly 20-30% of the homicides each year in Prince George’s County are the result of domestic violence, some involving children. Domestic violence has a devastating impact not only on victims, but family members of victims also experience trauma, especially children. Children who grow up in violent homes are more likely to be victimized throughout their lives, and some may become abusers themselves. As State’s Attorney, I will seek maximum penalties for perpetrators of domestic violence and child abuse, as well as seek resources for victims such as transitional housing, job training and counseling.
Combatting Human Trafficking
My office will work with our partners in law enforcement to investigate and prosecute those who have forced individuals into prostitution through psychological and physical coercion, beatings, extortion, starvation, and kidnapping. We will engage the community by conducting informational sessions at schools, churches, and neighborhood meetings and on prevalence of sex trafficking and the warning signs that a person might be a trafficking victim.
Data Driven Approach to Office Management
I am committed to using data to improve the efficiency and operation of the State’s Attorney’s Office. The effective use of data will enhance the Office’s ability to address emerging crime trends and target known criminals, like gang members; offered by the Office of the State’s Attorney that are responsible for a significant portion of crime. For example, I want to keep track of how often judges conclude that the office committed prosecutorial misconduct. I want to keep track of judicial findings that police have violated constitutional rights. I will use satisfaction surveys to determine whether victims and witnesses are satisfied with the services offered by the State’s Attorneys’ Office. All of these data driven measures will help to improve the day-to-day quality of justice dispensed by the Office.
Attracting and Retaining Top Talent
One of my major priorities is to improve pay, working conditions and job satisfaction among line prosecutors and investigators. Prince George’s County is competing for legal talent with neighboring jurisdictions like Montgomery and Fairfax Counties and the federal government. We are at a competitive disadvantage when we offer less generous pay and benefits. I will work with the County Executive and County Council to increase funding for the office in order to attract and keep top talent. Prince George’s County needs seasoned, career prosecutors. The best way to retain seasoned prosecutors is to offer competitive salaries.
Addressing Elder Abuse
I will create an elder abuse unit to prosecute criminal acts involving a victim who is 65 years of age or older. The types of criminal acts this unit will prosecute include domestic abuse, assault, and financial exploitation committed by anyone including a family member, home aide, companion, or other professional. This unit will also provide community workshops for seniors and trainings for non-profits serving seniors.
Reducing Homicide and Gun-Related Violence
I will work with the Prince George’s County court system and encourage them to create a gun court. Gun courts are specialized courts that provide expedited adjudication of gun-related charges against criminal defendants. In most jurisdictions with gun courts, defendants are charged and their cases are decided within 120 days of arrest. The expedited prosecution of violent criminals that use firearms to commit crimes ensures swift and certain justice. It protects the community by taking violent gun offenders off the streets as quickly as possible. Gun courts have been established in New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Birmingham and other jurisdictions across the country. The jurisdictions that have created gun courts have experienced increased conviction rates for criminals that use firearms and reduced recidivism rates for gun offenders.
Expanding Diversion and Re-Entry Programs
I will take a holistic approach to criminal justice that seeks to address the root causes of some criminal activity. We simply cannot incarcerate our way to a safer community. This is why I support diversion programs, especially programs that offer substance abuse and mental health treatment. I will support the expanded use of Drug Court and Mental Health Court. My goal is to use limited prosecutorial resources in an efficient manner. This means being smart and careful in how we charges cases. I do not want to devote scarce resources to locking up people with drug addictions or mental health issues when treatment would get to the root cause of their misconduct.