By MARK F. GRAY, Staff Writer, mgray@afro.com

With a commitment to hard work, perseverance, and accountability, Aisha Braveboy ushered in the era of “brave new justice” as she was sworn in as the State’s Attorney for Prince George’s County.  Braveboy, whose political career began as a state delegate in the Maryland House of Representatives before earning her chance to become a prosecutor, is ready to chart a new course in the state’s attorney’s office by remaining an innovator for justice in the County.

“The public expects big things from and we’re going to deliver,” said Braveboy during her reception at the Newton White Mansion in Mitchellville.

Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy accepts an honor from from Nickie Dawkins of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority following her inauguration reception at Newton White Mansion in Mitchellville, MD. (photo by Mark Gray)

Braveboy is a Prince George’s County lifer and follows County Executive Angela Alsobrooks as the leader of the judicial branch of its government.  Their relationship clearly reflects a camaraderie that was lacking through previous administrations.  Alsobrooks and Braveboy share the bond of being the two most powerful political figures in the County who understand they are role models for young – especially African American – women to continue breaking gender barriers while aspiring to assume roles in business and politics that were previously thought to be only for men.

“There’s a lot of work to be done together,” Braveboy said.  “We support and like each other.  I’m proud to be a role model for other young women to aspire to enter fields they aren’t supposed to, and that time is now.”

Braveboy and Alsobrooks, who previously worked together in the State Attorney’s office, ascended to their current positions by starting as advisors to legislators and law enforcement officials.  Braveboy learned by riding with resource officers from her high school alma mater – Laurel High – about the causes of truancy that lead to criminal behavior by juveniles.  After nearly a decade of those “ride alongs” she learned the forces that contributed to criminal behavior and formed her first juvenile justice innovation.

She started The Community Public Awareness Council, whose programs offer mental health treatment, art therapy, mediation, character development classes and parenting workshops for first-time juvenile offenders.  Braveboy believes that rehabilitative incarceration can prevent repeat offenders.

Though she plans to take an aggressive approach to protecting children and women from abuse, her philosophy is more pragmatic than just to investigate, prosecute and litigate when dealing with crime in the most affluent African American county in the nation.  As the county now boasts its lowest crime rate in nearly a decade, Braveboy remains vigilant protecting its citizens from gun violence.

“We must send a strong message that if you are committing crimes with guns in our community, we are coming for you,” Braveboy said.  “We will not let gun violence ruin our community.  I’m not going to stand for it.”

Braveboy feels it’s extremely important that Prince George’s County residents regain trust in law enforcement.  She looks to create a bond between police and the people that will help when prosecutors try cases before jurors who aren’t as skeptical about the practices of law enforcement when hearing them testify in court.

“As prosecutors we can talk to judges and speak in courtrooms but it’s the people in this room who you have to understand because they are the people we serve,” Braveboy said.  “Its important to bring credibility back to law enforcement because it makes things easier for prosecutors when juries believe in the credibility of the police.”

She is also mindful of the protection that senior citizens need who are victimized by crime stopping just short of promising no tolerance.

“Seniors should be able to enjoy their later years,” said Braveboy. “They deserve a return on their investment to the County.”