2018 Legislative Initiatives
At its general meeting on September 25, 2017, MAJR members gave approval to the following legislative initiatives for 2018.
Pretrial/Bail Reform: Support a coalition proposal to remedy inequitable bail usage; support for more effective pretrial services throughout the State. Work with the Maryland State’s Attorneys’ Association, mediation offices, and other organizations to encourage more effective pretrial screening and mediation diversion. For more detail see http://www.ma4jr.org/pretrial-fact-sheet/
Citations as Alternatives to Arrest. Citation in lieu of arrest has been widely embraced as a law enforcement tool, and Maryland has a history of success in using this tool. See http://www.ma4jr.org/citations/
Technical Violations: Sponsor a court Rule revision to prevent judges from issuing no-bail arrest warrants for minor offenses such as technical violations of probation.
Diversion: Work with other advocates and groups on pretrial diversion for individuals with mental illness.
Behind the Walls:
Solitary Confinement Initiative. MAJR will support legislation of the Interfaith Action for Human Rights (IAHR): http://www.interfaithactionhr.org/maryland_petition
Removing the Governor from the parole process for inmates with life sentences with the possibility of parole. MAJR will continue to support the legislation of the Restorative Justice Initiative. http://www.justicepolicy.org/news/8836
Education: Lobby to increase Maryland resources for prison education and vocational training, now hampered by ineffective screening and low pay for teachers.
Families: Encourage support to improve opportunities for inmates to relate with family members.
Ban-the-Box: Work to override the Governor’s veto of the Maryland Fair Access to Education Act. See: http://www.ma4jr.org/ban-the-box/
Certificate: Lobby to expand the “certificate of rehabilitation” statute, currently limited to state licensing. See: http://www.ma4jr.org/certificate/
Collateral Consequences: Endorse efforts to ensure Maryland courts warn defendants of the scope of possible collateral consequences of conviction. For more detail see http://www.ma4jr.org/collateral-consequences/
Help us inform our representatives by testifying at the scheduled hearings.