Prince George’s Co. state’s attorney details plans for criminal justice reform

Delivering the county’s first “State of Justice Report” in Prince George’s County, Maryland, State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy reaffirmed her plans for criminal justice reform.

In a speech to the criminal justice community Braveboy outlined several initiatives, including her centerpiece — juvenile justice reform.

“I am committed to ending the school-to-prison pipeline … Because I believe in our young people and value their future, I am investing the time and resources of my office to get them on a path to success,” Braveboy said.

She said the county is providing more drug treatment, mental health counseling and diversion programs to keep some juvenile offenders out of jail.

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Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy delivers the first “State of Justice Report” on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

Braveboy pointed out that for the first time ever the State’s Attorney’s Office supported resentencing for a juvenile serving a life prison sentence.

She also vowed to take action against violent gang members who she said are becoming younger and younger.

“When my prosecutors have to contemplate prosecuting a 14-year-old in a gang-related death of another 14-year-old … we must, and we will take action,” Braveboy said.

She also offered a simple message to members of the immigrant community who become victims of crime.

“We don’t cooperate with federal agencies when it comes to issues of immigration. That is not our job. Our job is simply to seek justice,” she said.

Members of the Prince George’s County criminal justice community attends the first “State of Justice Report” on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

Braveboy is also seeking reform in cases involving motor vehicle manslaughter. She said because of the complex evidence required in such cases, including crash reconstruction and toxicology tests, it has often taken up to 10 months to bring an indictment. Her office is working to substantially reduce the time, and it recently brought an indictment in such a case in less than one month, she said.

The county’s top law enforcement officer also promised renewed attention in cases of domestic violence and special victims, including children and human trafficking.

She said her office will ask the Maryland General Assembly later this year to increase penalties on strangulation — one of the most common assaults in domestic violence cases.

Braveboy said she is also asking the county for increased funding to boost salaries for her staff, so that compensation is fair and competitive for those responsible for prosecuting crimes.

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Aisha Braveboy’s parents, Norma and Cuthbert, attend the State of Justice Report on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

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