WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Her outraged and angry denunciation of the violence in Prince George's County that has taken since the beginning of the school year the lives of six high school students has given Angela Alsobrooks, the county's States's Attorney, a higher public profile than she has seen in the two years since she assumed office in January of 2011.
She is vocal in her belief that arrest, prosecution, conviction, and prison are not alone the solution to the seemingly growing problem in the county of juvenile violence.
"There is definitely a disconnect," she said at the WUSA9 studios Wednesday evening. "We have not taught our children well, and we've lost so much in terms of history."
She added, "These are not strangers who are killing our children. We are at war with each other, if we're honest about the way it is occurring and it is shocking, but it really does show a lack of values. We're not transferring the right values to our children, and I think it's showing."
Alsobrooks' great-grandfather was murdered, the case remains unsolved. It gives her a perspective that goes beyond simple empathy when seeing the families of those dead school children.
"It's a painful, long-lasting feeling, so my heart goes out to any family who suffers the loss of a loved one through violence, and I can't imagine a mother, in particular, who has lost a child and so I understand it from that perspective."
WUSA9 asked Alsobrooks why is it her job to examine social issues and do anything beyond her prosecutor's function of convicting the killers?
"Because we want to stop it. I think the true role of a prosecutor is to cause crime to decline and to eventually stop it, so it is not enough to send them to jail. If we arrest them and prosecute them and send them to jail and another person is dead the next day, we haven't done our job well, and so I will prosecute. I will continue to do that. I've always said I will be firm there."
She said that many young men are angry because they are without opportunity after dropping out of school.
"We must do something to address the situation regarding jobs and workforce development, but we also need mentors. Many of these young men don't have men in their lives."
A WUSA9 producer's aid asked Alsobrooks about a program in a Chevy Chase, Maryland school where students are taught about conflict resolution and how to make peace.
"I think it makes complete sense and that's part of what we are seeing. These children have no idea how to resolve conflict.
"We see it not only with the young men. We see it with the young women as well. We had college students, for example, who were stabbing each other, throwing acid on each other. These children don't know how to resolve conflicts, so I think it is wise that we teach them the life skills they need to survive."
She concluded by saying that when men and women drop out of school their opportunities decline and they become involved in crime.