I believe we have an obligation to create a new kind of criminal justice system — one that maintains both public safety, and the freedom and dignity of the citizens who interact with it..
My administration will work with state’s attorneys and local police departments to build a system in Maryland that attacks the fundamental causes of crime, instead of putting forth “solutions” that
merely mask the underlying issues by problematizing those who are most vulnerable. We need
to stand up and demand a system that remembers prisoners are people – and citizens – who can
and must be reintegrated into our society.
This obligation is a moral one. No one should be denied their freedom because they could not afford to pay their parking tickets; no one should lose their job because they were jailed for not
having enough cash on hand to pay bail; no person with a substance dependency or another
mental health illness should be sent to prison instead of to a rehabilitation center; no police
officers should be untrained in de-escalation techniques or unaware of possible implicit bias; no
child who has a bad day in class should meet with police officers rather than receive
constructive discipline from teachers, social workers, guidance counselors, administrators, and
This obligation is also a political one. We are responsible for creating and implementing the best policy possible for our constituents, no matter whether that policy seems left or right- leaning. We must put aside petty partisan squabbles and adhere to the most up-to-date research on criminal justice reform — and be humble enough to admit when an attempted solution needs to be taken back to the drawing board.
This obligation is an economic one. Maryland’s prison problem costs taxpayers over $912 million every year, which averages about $46,000 in public spending per incarcerated person.
We have a fiduciary responsibility to reallocate these funds to programs that we know work —
like Drug Courts, rehabilitation centers, job training programs, and upstream educational
interventions — instead of continuing to back a the current Governor’s 1950s approaches to
combating crime that will never create long-term solutions.
1. End the School to Prison Pipeline
2. Stop Sending People to Prison for Being Poor
3. Improving Conditions for Corrections Officers and the Incarcerated
4. Build More Mental Health Facilities, Not More Prisons
5. Encourage Community Policing
6. Appoint Judges Representative of the Diversity that Makes Maryland Great
7. Correct Past Wrongs Against People with Drug Dependancy