Maryland Alliance for Justice Reform (MAJR) is a bi-partisan, statewide alliance seeking legislative changes indispensable to bring Maryland into the 21st century with corrections policies that are evidence-based, humane and effective.
We are working together to address the problem of mass incarceration in Maryland in several ways. We invite you to join us to accomplish our goals:
- Alternatives to incarceration
- Taxpayer savings
- Strong communities
- Ending inequities
- To fully support alternatives to incarceration where appropriate;
- To save taxpayer dollars and reallocate the savings to build safer communities;
- To strengthen Maryland communities by supporting families, helping people returning from jails and prisons lead productive lives, and preventing crime;
- To end inequities in our justice system.
Maryland shouldn’t wait any longer for criminal justice policies that work!
- Maryland’s incarceration rates & taxpayer costs more than tripled in 20 years (1980-2000) — including a 55% increase for nonviolent offenders1 — but crime rates held constant2. Our incarceration rates and costs—over $38,000 per inmate per year3 — remain near record-high levels.
- African-Americans, only 25 per cent of Maryland’s population, disproportionately constitute 78 per cent of the inmate population4. Upon release, a prison record damages employment prospects. With programs to reduce the “collateral consequences” of imprisonment like those that have proven successful in other states, returning citizens could find jobs, support their families, and become taxpayers themselves, rather than being supported by taxpayers.
- Maryland’s recidivism rate – new offenses that return an offender to prison within 3 years—has hovered between 41 and 51%. Other states such as Virginia and Oregon use evidence-tested methods to reduce these rates to 28% and 23%5.
- Like other states Maryland can employ “Justice Reinvestment” and make evidence-based policy improvements to substantially reduce recidivism, reduce crime, and simultaneously reduce taxpayer costs. Maryland’s Justice Reinvestment Coordinating Council is engaged in a 2-year review of the justice system in which stakeholders are invited to participate.