Issues

Making Maryland Safer

 

Protecting people - it’s what I have done in the courtroom and in the legislature. My number one priority as Attorney General has been keeping Maryland families safe. I have been a leader in keeping Maryland families safe by:

  • Leading the fight for the Firearm Safety Act, landmark gun safety legislation that will prevent gun violence and save thousands of lives in Maryland;
  • Increasing protections for victims of domestic violence;
  • Getting assault weapons and other dangerous firearms off of our streets;
  • Ensuring that judges have better supervisory authority over dangerous sex offenders;
  • Enhancing the authority of police to investigate homicides;
  • Enabling judges to send drug addicts to treatment programs.

The Maryland Fraternal Order of Police has twice honored me with its Leadership Award in 2006 and 2010.

Protecting Our Communities

Thanks to our state and local law enforcement and community leaders, crime is at an all-time low in Maryland.   (Source: http://www.goccp.maryland.gov/msac/crime-statistics.php) But we cannot let our guard down. We must remain vigilant and have the necessary resources available to protect the public. As Maryland’s chief legal - and law enforcement – officer, it’s the Attorney General’s job to use the law to protect, and improve the lives of, all Marylanders.  

The fact is, criminals have their lawyers.  The rest of us have the people’s lawyer: the Attorney General of the State of Maryland, representing mothers trying to raise their families in violent neighborhoods, senior citizens victimized by financial scams or elder abuse, and protecting children whether they’re at home, at school, or online.  Those are the people I’ve spent my career fighting for – and who I am fighting for as Attorney General. 

As Attorney General, I will focus on bringing together neighborhoods, community groups, schools, and law enforcement to help prevent and reduce crime and develop innovative and achievable solutions to increase public safety in Maryland.

Combating Domestic Violence & Sexual Abuse

Incidents of domestic violence and sexual abuse are extremely serious crimes and unfortunately all too prevalent in Maryland.  Tens of thousands of Marylanders are victims of domestic violence crimes each year.  (Source: Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence).

Public officials can and should do more to keep Marylanders from suffering abuse.  I have championed laws that help victims of domestic violence get protection from their abusers.  Another important step that remains to be taken is to establish a more reasonable burden of proof for victims to obtain a permanent protective order. I introduced legislation in the 2014 Maryland General Assembly to do just that, giving victims of domestic violence increased protections from their abusers.

Protecting Our Youth

We have known for years that a “one size fits all” approach to criminal justice is counterproductive.  It leads to policies that waste tax dollars and make our streets more dangerous, not less.  Nowhere is this more apparent than in the juvenile justice arena. Positive reform of the juvenile justice system cannot happen unless we ensure the fair and humane treatment of both youth who have committed offenses and those who have been a victim of crime or abuse. I believe it is crucial to keep all of our young people safe while holding them accountable for their actions. 

As Chair of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, I have advocated policies that provide alternatives to juvenile detention whenever possible.  Studies show that we can improve public safety, cut costs and reduce racial disparities by directing many of our troubled youth to placements and programs in community settings.  (Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative 2011) As Attorney General, I have continued to fight to give all kids the opportunity to be successful and to ensure that our communities are safe.

 

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