Braveboy asked the state to fund 12 new assistant prosecutor positions and seven support staff positions. Part of the need for additional staff stems from the fact that Prince George County police officers are equipped with body-worn cameras.
Prince George County has seen a dramatic increase in the homicide rate in 2021, with more than 100 murders reported so far this year in Maryland County.
But the county’s supreme attorney, State Attorney Aisha Braveboy, said she would continue to support efforts to tackle the underlying cause of the crime, as well as bring criminal charges.
“We can’t just focus on prosecution without addressing the underlying needs,” Braveboy said of young offenders, adding that those between the ages of 18 and 26 account for the majority of violent crimes.
When asked what she believes was causing the spike in crime, Braveboy told WTOP that the coronavirus pandemic and the social isolation it has generated is part of the problem.
“We can’t pretend that’s not a huge factor in all of this. We just saw a lot of hopelessness and hopelessness. We think it has increased crime not only here in Prince Georges County, ”she said, acknowledging that the problem was nationwide.
Jason Abbott, the deputy senior state attorney in Braveboy’s office, agreed with Braveboy, telling WTOP that young people don’t have the kind of activities that create social bonds.
These included school and extracurricular activities which Abbot said had an impact on the rise in crime. Deputy State Attorney Perry Paylor agreed.
“We cannot underestimate the implications of this administration on behavioral health,” Paylor said.
Braveboy added that responsibility is always important. She supports a system in which offenders are prosecuted and serve their time, but when they are released she would like to see the system “provide them with the services they need to lead more productive lives”.
“These are services that people need in our community, just like we need educational services,” she said.
She asked the state to fund 12 new deputy prosecutor positions and seven support staff positions. Part of the need for additional staff came from Prince George County police officers, now equipped with body cameras.
“We have to deal with all of this evidence,” Braveboy said. “We have to see him again; we have to write it; we have to provide it to defense counsel to fulfill our obligations.
Braveboy said his legislative priorities for the General Assembly session starting in January will include an effort to crack down on so-called “ghost guns,” guns that do not have serial numbers and therefore , cannot be found.