Today’s Daily Action #3 – Maryland desperately needs Criminal Justice Reform. We desperately need you to call to help!

We need you to give your State Senator a call today–this morning. Please ask your Senator to Support SB1156. SUPER IMPORTANT!

If you are D33, Senator Reilly – 410-841-3568. If not, find your Senator here: For contact information on your Maryland State Senator, go to www.mdelect.net and type in your address . Then click on the Senator’s name.

Since you are calling your Senator, you can also ask your Senator to not only support SB1156 for the reasons listed below** but also to vote YES on HB 432 to reduce violence. Violence intervention programs are proven to reduce rates of violence in our cities. They are important to both public safety and equity. And they’re cost-effective.

Here’s why-

**A sorely-needed bill — HB 447 / SB 1156 — supported by Maryland Courts and the Maryland Association of Counties (MACO) — would provide seed-money for counties without pretrial release screening and supervision to adopt these programs, as well as assisting counties with current programs to upgrade to best-practices

This pretrial bill passed the House, but now also must pass the Senate. Bail bondsmen, we expect, are working behind the scenes to oppose this valuable bill! Here are 3 talking points for your call:

1) Why should we care? Pretrial supervision can cut failure-to-appear (FTA) rates –the reason for bail– by half. This improvement saves both jail costs for taxpayers and wasted time for sheriffs and courts. For example, St. Mary’s county’s new pretrial supervision program made huge FTA improvements saving county taxpayer funds at the same time.

2) Scientific risk-screening also helps judges—many without pre-appointment criminal-practice experience—make more accurate, race-neutral, safe pretrial-release decisions.

3) The pretrial bill would bring consistency to all the counties, save taxpayers money, and better determine who should be held and who is safe to release awaiting trial with community supervision.

The pretrial bill — supported by Maryland Courts and the Maryland Association of Counties — would provide seed-money for 13 Md. counties without pretrial release screening and supervision for 10 Md. counties without pretrial supervision to adopt these programs*, as well as assisting counties with current programs to upgrade to best-practices.

(*Statistics come from a November 2017 Survey of Maryland Correctional Administrators Association (MCAA) in all 23 Md. counties with notes from Maryland Alliance from Justice Reform (MAJR).

Briefly, pretrial supervision means that someone who has been arrested is released but not cut off from the justice system until their trial date. This might mean a daily check-in at the low end to wearing an ankle bracelet at the high end. Evidence-based risk assessment involves using standard questions to determine whether the person is safe to release and is likely to show up for trial. Both processes lower the rate of expensive incarceration, which costs taxpayers and leads to job loss.)

Many thanks for your help!

WISE would love to hear from you.....

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