Body Worn Camera Unit
In the summer of 2022, Howard County launched a Body Worn Camera (BWC) program for uniformed officers. Every uniformed officer who regularly interacts with members of the public, as part of their official duties, is required to wear and operate a body worn camera.
The role of the State’s Attorney’s Office and the Body Worn Camera Unit is to review footage recorded by officers for use in prosecuting cases. In total, the BWC Unit is made up of 15 people, including 2 attorneys, 6 paralegals, and 7 additional personnel to absorb additional work.
Many people think of the technology first when they think of a BWC program, but the key to a successful program is pairing technology with properly trained people to accomplish the goals of the policy.
For more information, please refer to the link below.
The Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office is pleased to announce the implementation of our Restorative Justice Program (RJP) which provides an entirely different way of thinking about crime and our response to crime. This approach operates from a belief that crime is a violation of people and relationships, and the path to justice lies in problem solving and healing rather than punishment mandated by the state. The myth that RJ replaces harsher consequences is simply not true. Our office has created a process whereby, if a case is eligible for the Restorative Justice Program, all parties, with a stake in the crime will come together to collectively resolve the offense in a more meaningful and holistic way. Our attorneys will serve as facilitators focusing on offender accountability for the harm they caused while also seeking redress for victims through reconciliation. The restorative process of involving all parties is a powerful way of addressing not only the material and physical injuries caused by the crime, but also the social, psychological, and relational injuries as well.
Foundational Principles include the following:
*Crime causes harm and justice should focus on repairing that harm
*The people most affected by the crime should be able to participate in its resolution
*Victim’s involvement and defendant’s ability to change and accept responsibility for his/her actions is essential
* Our office’s responsibility is to oversee the process and ensure each party agrees with the outcome of this non-judicial-system-based solution
*When a party is not able, or does not want, to participate in such a meeting, other approaches can be taken to achieve the restorative outcome of repairing the harm caused by the offender.
Here’s a partial list of eligible offenses to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis:
Loitering, trespassing, 2 nd degree assault, vandalism, rogue and vagabond charges, etc.
Cases that are not eligible (serious offenses):
Murder, domestic violence, rape, human trafficking, drugs, etc.
For more information, please explore these links.