Sponsors: Senator Will Smith/Delegate Jazz Lewis
Direct Release to Community – Prohibiting LR 1425
- THIS IS A PUBLIC SAFETY ISSUE
- Over the last 3 years, 834 inmates have been released directly back to the community who are unprepared to return safely
- Prohibits the release of inmates who have not had access to transition services to the community from solitary confinement
- Requires the Department of Correction to:
- Provide a transitional plan out of solitary confinement
- Provide substantial re-socialization
- Provide regular mental health counseling
- Provide a substantial reentry plan and service transition
- Allows for the following exceptions:
- An inmate can request isolation from other inmates, called protective custody
- An inmate may be placed in disciplinary segregation if there is a clear and convincing evidence that he or she poses a threat to the safety of the institution, staff or other inmates, or is a credible flight risk
Restrictive Housing Reform - LR 2544
- This is both a public safety issue and a humanitarian issue
- This bill will lead to more humane conditions of confinement
- An inmate may not be held in solitary confinement more than 30 consecutive days for a first offense in a given year
- Prior to being placed in solitary confinement an inmate shall have a mental health evaluation
- The Department must provide de-escalation opportunities
- Sanctions cannot be “consecutive”
- Solitary must not be used for non-disciplinary reasons
- Prepare individualized plans for every person with the goal of returning to general population that provides step-down opportunities
- Set clear time limits on the length of each phase in the step-down program to ensure that people in the program are able to progress through the phases and reenter a less-restrictive housing unit
- Amend its policies to specify that disciplinary segregation is a sanction of last resort
IAHR Supports: Reproductive Justice Inside
Restrictive Housing – Pregnant Women LR 1763
Sponsors: Senator Susan Lee/Delegate Wanika Fisher
- Maryland places all pregnant women involuntarily in medical isolation during her last trimester a practice that in essence punishes a woman for being pregnant and one that there is no medical or institutional rationale for its use.
- Pregnancy is a medical event that often carries greater risks of stress and depression and the experience of forced isolation of 22 hours or more a day in a small cell poses significant potential harms to the pregnant individual and her baby, including miscarriage, risk of infection, preterm labor, and low birth weight.
- This bill will prohibit the involuntary placement of inmates in restrictive housing/medical isolation/infirmary/medical during pregnancy, labor, as well as during the post-pregnancy recovery period.
- Post-pregnancy recovery period means the eight-week period allowing full recovery after a birth or pregnancy loss. This prohibition also applies to an inmate or detainee with other pregnancy outcomes – such as stillbirth, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, abortion, or other non-live birth outcome
- This legislation would include juvenile justice facilities, state and local institutions, jails, pre-trial and home detention facilities.
- Pregnant inmates or detainees who are placed in this restrictive housing must be medically assessed every eight (8) hours to ensure positive mental and physical health.
- Pregnant inmates or detainees shall have access to those privileges consistent with those in general population.