I have great pride in what we have accomplished during my seven years as Prince George’s State’s Attorney. My office has played a major role in the record crime reduction we’ve seen, reducing crime to its lowest levels in more than 30 years.
As Sate’s Attorney, I used a three-part approach to fighting crime.
Enforcement –For those who choose to commit a serious offense, there is no other answer than to get them off of the street so they cannot do harm to others. I am proud that during my time as State’s Attorney, we increased our homicide conviction rates by at least 17 percent. I also created a Strategic Investigations Unit and working with our Police Department we have targeted violent repeat offenders, who are responsible for a disproportionate share of the crime we experience, securing sentences that factor in their current crime and their criminal history, keeping them off the streets where they cannot harm our citizens.
Prevention – As State’s Attorney, I have always said that my goal is to keep people from coming into my office at all. Dropping out of school can be linked with criminal behavior, so I have made sure to spend time at our elementary schools, helping to boost attendance by helping our children realize the correlation between school attendance and a successful life.
Rehabilitation – I believe that the ultimate goal of law enforcement is a just and safe community, and I see an important role for rehabilitation in achieving that vision. That is why I implemented the Back on Track program, which diverts low-level, non-violent drug offenders to educational programs and job placement and away from jail. Diversion saves taxpayer dollars because it is less costly than incarceration, but it also helps individuals who have otherwise lost their way, to become contributing members of society again. I have also hosted expungement fairs, which give non-violent, ex-offenders a chance to wipe their record clean after they have served their punishment so they can pursue employment and return to a productive life.
While Prince George’s County has seen a substantial decrease in crime, I will not rest until every family feels secure all of the time and everywhere. With that as our measuring stick for progress, we must acknowledge that we still have work to do. I will continue to work with our Police Department as I have as State’s Attorney, while making sure that they have the personnel, the funding, and the technology to continue their community-based focus on fighting crime.