Last month, USA Today proclaimed Baltimore, “the nation’s most dangerous city.” It seems clear city leaders, including Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby want to relinquish that toxic title. Additionally, Mosby’s office says it is working to provide some measure of comfort to the thousands of people each year who are victims of crime or witnesses for the State’s Attorney’s Office (SAO).

Baltimore City State’s Attorney has secured $2.4 million to enhance the Victim/Witness Services unit in her office. (Courtesy photo)

March 20, Mosby’s office unveiled a revamped waiting space for those victims and witnesses participating in criminal proceedings, which are often traumatic, in room 410 of the Clarence Mitchell Courthouse.

“Today is a major milestone in my administration’s pledge to do all we can to restore trust between the community and law enforcement,” Mosby said during the unveiling event at Mitchell Courthouse. “A major component of this promise was to restructure our Victim/Witness Services Unit, expand the services it provides, assign a veteran prosecutor to lead it, and challenge my staff to provide world-class services and support to all of Baltimore’s victims and witnesses of crime.” Mosby said the unveiling of the redesigned space is symbolic of her office’s commitment to the wellbeing of victims and witnesses. Last year, the State’s Attorney’s office prosecuted more than 41,000 cases.

The moments leading up to a criminal proceeding for a victim or witness are usually emotionally charged, especially if they don’t have extensive experience with the criminal justice system,” said SAO Victim/Witness Services Chief Arcelia Greene. “We want victims and witnesses to feel comfortable, allow them to focus on the proceedings ahead, or just relax and take their mind off of things until it is time for them to appear in court.”

According to the SAO, the Victims/Witness Services Unit has doubled in size since 2015 when Mosby entered office, and secured a $2.4 million grant in 2016 to enhance the unit.

Sean Yoes

AFRO Baltimore Editor