Criminal Justice Reform in Maryland - 2024 Correctional Ombudsman, Solitary Confinement and other bills
Maryland Criminal Justice Community Forum
Sunday, January 21 @ 3 pm
Homewood Friends Meeting
3107 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218
In-person & via Zoom
Register (for in-person participation or via Zoom)
Maryland can remedy serious problems with our correctional system in 2024. Two priority bills will be featured at this community forum.
Correctional Ombudsman Bill
- Maryland prisons are dangerous and unhealthy, but prison administrators’ claims and reports about what goes on inside are not always reliable. For a true picture of the problems of assaults on prisoners, drug smuggling by correctional officers, inadequate medical care, and lack of effective programming and educational opportunities, an independent perspective is needed.
- Other states have made good use of Correctional Ombudsmen to receive confidential tips, conduct investigations, publicly report problems and urge that they be addressed. The Maryland Correctional Ombudsman office will be housed in the Office of the Maryland Attorney General. The bill is supported by Attorney General Anthony Brown.
Solitary Confinement Bill (Mandela Act)
- Solitary confinement—known in Maryland as “restrictive housing”—was originally intended to separate the most dangerous prisoners from others, and to keep vulnerable prisoners safe temporarily. In Maryland and elsewhere, solitary is used far more widely. Prisoners who commit minor rule violations, many of whom are mentally ill, are often put in isolation, sometimes for long periods.Incarcerated prisoners in solitary typically
live in small cells for up to 22+ hours a day—for weeks, months, or even years. This often causes irreparable physical and mental harm, both to the individual and to others with whom they later have contact. ● The Mandela Act would cap use of solitary to 15 days; prohibit it for vulnerable people; severely limit the practice for juveniles; and mandate that those put in restrictive housing be allowed to contest their confinement.
Sponsors: Homewood Friends Meeting (Quaker)Dismantling Racism Working Group, Maryland Alliance for Justice Reform (MAJR) and Interfaith Action for Human Rights (IAHR).
Parking: Adjacent, free street parking on Sundays. Allow time to park and walk to Homewood Friends Meetinghouse!! Persons needing wheelchair access can be dropped off in front and use the access ramp.
Reception: to follow. Light refreshments and networking!
Snow: In case of snow or ice a decision will be made by 11 pm the night before and, if needed, the program will convert to 100% Zoom Webinar. Participants will be notified via email.
Contact: [email protected]