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City prosecutors receive $3 million in state grants

The Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office is receiving more than $3 million in grants from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention.

The Board of Estimates approved the funding at Wednesday’s meeting. Almost all of the money — $2.5 million to be exact — is for “comprehensive violence prosecution.” The grant award has been in place for about a decade and provides salary and benefits for 15 assistant state’s attorneys, three law clerks, one clerical assistant, one graphic artist and one victim witness assistant, according to Mark Cheshire, a spokesman for the state’s attorney’s office. (I’ve emailed him to find out what the graphic artist does but have not heard back.)

The staff is distributed among the community prosecution zones established by State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein, Cheshire said. Previously, the award supported the office’s Firearms Investigation/Violence Enforcement Division.

Half a million dollars will go toward paying rent for prosecutors’ office space at 120 E. Baltimore St., Cheshire added.

Additionally, more than $600,000 is going toward personnel for an “inter-agency war room,” where public safety officials keep track of the city’s most violent offenders as they move through the criminal justice system.

The state’s attorney’s office is also receiving $115,000 to provide salary and benefits for prosecutors in the city corrections investigative unit and $65,000 for an assistant state’s attorney who works with the U.S. attorney’s office to prosecute gun cases.

In other Board of Estimates/state’s attorney’s office news, the board approved the office paying more than $26,000 to cover every prosecutors’ annual fee to the Client Protection Fund of the Bar of Maryland.

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