The Maryland Alliance for Justice Reform (MAJR) is a nonpartisan association of over forty community organizations and churches with members in every part of the state. We seek legislative changes in Maryland’s correctional policies to support alternatives to incarceration, address inequities, and aid citizens returning from prison to lead productive lives, thus, strengthening families and communities. Individual supporters include judges, attorneys, corrections professionals, as well as returning citizens, victims, and service providers.
It should be made clear that MAJR is not a service organization providing aid but a broad-based state-wide advocacy organization focused on criminal justice reform. Broadly, our mission is:
- To advocate for legislative reforms of Maryland’s criminal justice system that emphasize rehabilitation and restorative justice over mass incarceration and punishment.
- To create opportunities for those committed to criminal justice reform to meet, share resources, and engage with each other around common purposes.
- To raise awareness and understanding, among citizens of Maryland, of mass incarceration and promote positive alternatives.
Work With Us
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:
- 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.
How We Work Together
Overview: Each of us brings unique strengths and perspectives to this work. Our work is enhanced by learning from each other, building on one another’s ideas, and sharing responsibility for the group’s success.
Leadership: Leadership takes many forms within MAJR. Those who are in formal leadership roles are responsible for inspiring, supporting, listening, and leading in ways that allow others to participate at their best. Leadership focuses on bringing out the best in each person rather than being “in charge.”
Decision Making: Rather than a majority rule approach, we seek a sense of unity about the best way forward for our group. Whenever possible, broad input should be sought for decisions that have broad impact. Recognizing that some decisions need to be made quickly, it is important that we empower those most involved or impacted by the decision to proceed–with support of the Executive Committee. To read our complete charter see: ttp://www.ma4jr.org/our-charter/
MAJR, a volunteer organization has established six committees to help us focus on the most important issues of the day. MAJR was particularly active in the 2016 legislative session which adopted the Justice Reinvestment Act. Many measures on that Act will become effective in October 2017. MAJR needs to monitor and report on how the Act is being implemented. Each of our committees has a significant role to play.
- Executive Committee
The Executive Committee coordinates the work of the workgroups and other committees and is our primary interface with the legislature:
- Front Door Workgroup
The Front Door Workgroup will consider pretrial detention and bail, alternatives to arrest, diversion to mental health programs, and mediation and other alternatives to incarceration.
- Behind-the-Walls Workgroup
The Behind the Walls Workgroup will make recommendations regarding education within correctional facilities, solitary confinement, preparation for re-entry, parole for lifers, and other issues:
- Back Door Workgroup
The Back Door Workgroup will focus on re-entry, collateral consequences, and other issues:
- Networking Committee
The Networking Committee will organize MAJR supporters throughout Maryland on a geographic basis.
- Communications Committee
The Communications Committee maintains MAJR’s interface with our supporters, and monitors a variety of meetings, events, and conferences: