SB 946 & Banner Campaign

On February 26, IAHR members and allies testified at the House of Delegates Judiciay Committee Hearing in support of the Reporting Bill (HB 1180). We were encouraged by our reception at the hearing.  Now we need you to support of our efforts in the Senate (SB 946). We and our allies will be testifying at the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceeding Committee on Wednesday, March 2. This week we need you to write to members of this committee. Below, you will find a sample letter. Please take a few minutes and write to the Committee! Send the letter to Suzanne O'Hatnick

Maryland Legislative Session 2016

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We need your help and support!  

Here's what's wrong:
The National Institute of Corrections has recommended that the state of Maryland reform its use of solitary confinement with good reason.  Currently, Maryland's use of punitive isolation is almost double the national average.  The rate is even higher for mentally ill inmates.

Here's what we're doing: 
IAHR has worked with ACLU-MD and Out for Justice to write a bill proposing changes in solitary confinement regulation for the state of Maryland.  The bill mandates that the Maryland Department of Correctional Services publicly release data regarding the use of solitary confinement, which is also known as "restrictive housing."  The Department has not made public the existing data regarding how often and for what length of time restrictive housing is used. This information is necessary in order to track changes in the system and work to reduce the misuse of restricted housing in Maryland.

Here's how you can help:
Please write a letter to the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and send the letter to Suzanne O'Hatnick.  Suzanne will deliver the letters to the Committee.   Here is a sample letter which you can send to Suzanne:

TESTIMONY IN SUPPORT OF SB 946
Correctional Services - Restrictive Housing - Report

Date
To: Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee
From:
Re: SB946
Position: SUPPORT

I am writing to urge your support for SB946, a reporting bill on restrictive housing in Maryland State prisons.  Restrictive housing is a term used by Corrections to describe isolated confinement such as solitary confinement, administrative segregation, disciplinary segregation and protective custody. 
The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) has received 15 recommendations from the National Institute of Corrections for reform in this area to reduce the use in Maryland prisons. Currently Maryland’s use of isolation is almost double the national average and even higher for the mentally ill. 
An annual reporting bill will be able to track the progress over time of reform efforts. Transparency assures that reform efforts will stay on track. 
I thank you in advance for your support. 
Sincerely, 
  • Please send your testimony to suzanneohatnick@comcast.net by noon, Tuesday, March 1.
  • The next hearing for SB946 will be this Wednesday, March 2, in the Judicial Proceedings Committee in the Senate Office Building in Annapolis at 1 pm. 
  • Any questions??? Ask Suzanne O’Hatnick at 410-362-2604 or suzanneohatnick@comcast.net

IAHR is also supporting other bills aiming to reform the Maryland Criminal Justice system.  You can find more information about these bills by clicking on our blog page.

The Judicial Proceedings Committee needs to hear from you this week!  Please help us by writing a short letter to members of the Committee.     

HB1180/SB946 Correctional Services - Restrictive Housing - Report

Requiring the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services on or before October 1 each year to submit specified data to the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention relating to the use of restrictive housing in correctional facilities; and requiring the Department to make the information submitted available on the Department's Web site.  

Click here for the bill site.

Sponsors: Senators Gladden and Hough

Hearing date: March 2 at 1pm

Committee: Senate Judicial Proceedings (Miller Senate Office Building, 2 East Wing, Annapolis, MD 21401)

Contact re: questions and testimony suzanneohatnick@comcast.net 

IAHR Announces Banner Campaign To Counter Anti-Muslim Bigotry

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To counter anti-Muslim bigotry, Interfaith Action for Human Rights joins with Shoulder to Shoulder and T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Justice to call on U.S. religious communities to display banners signaling their support for the Muslim American community. 

The campaign follows in the tradition of similar banner campaigns, such as Save Darfur, Stand with Israel and Black Lives Matter. It aims to demonstrate that faith communities stand together with the Muslim American community.

There are three banner options:

  • “Honor God –Say No to anti-Muslim Bigotry”
  • “We Stand with our Muslim neighbors”
  • “Organization Name] stands with Muslim Americans”

Banners come in two sizes: 2’ x 6’ - $140, or 3’ x 9’ - $200. 

Click here to order the banner and for more information


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