PLEASE take the time to read through this letter detailing the ways YOU can help! This is SO needed and YOU can make a difference. Please be sure to share and sign the letter in #4 below. To find out more, please visit: http://www.out4justice.org and view their Women’s Pre-Release Fact-Sheet.
From Out For Justice:
Hello Partners and Supporters
My name is Nicole Hanson, and I am the Executive Director of Out For Justice. We are a returning citizen-led organization that advocates for urgently needed changes within the criminal justice system. We believe that individuals impacted by the criminal justice system should be at the forefront of policy reform efforts that directly affect us, our families, and communities.
Along with our partners, we are urging the state of Maryland to open a women’s pre-release center that serves women from across the state. We believe that women’s pre-release services should be provided within a community-based setting, rather than embedded within a high-security prison, as they are now. Presently there are multiple community-based pre-release facilities for men within the state correctional system; however, there are none for women. Maryland’s women should have the same access as Maryland’s men to high-quality, community-based pre-release services.
We have some important updates and invitations to share with you!
1) We have introduced FOUR bills!
Senator Mary Washington, Delegate Charlotte Crutchfield and over 70 other members of the general assembly have decided to sponsor two bills, cross filed in the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates.
SB821/HB710: Refines the definition of a pre-release unit to specify that it is a separate structure, with security features tailored to incarcerated individuals who present the least risk of violence and escape and have a satisfactory behavioral record. Click these links for more information: SB821 / HB710
2) Please attend our press conference on February 14th at 11am
Spend part of your Valentine’s Day showing that you care about women who are incarcerated in Maryland. The majority of these women are mothers who need services and support to be prepared to care for their young children when they are released. And currentley they are receiving little to none.
Location: Annapolis, House of Delegates Building – Montgomery County Delegation Room
3) Support our bills at the upcoming hearings
Show your support with your presence, a written testimony, or a verbal testimony. Our bill sponsors have clearly told us that having individual and organizational supporters present at these hearings will be critical to getting these bills passed.
Senate Hearing 2/21 at 12pm: SB821 & SB419
House Hearing 2/26 at 1pm: HB710 & HB715
4) Read more about this issue and sign on to our support letter!
Attached to this email are additional materials about Maryland’s pre-release services and our bills including a pamphlet, a fact sheet, and a copy of our sign-on letter.
Lend your official support by signing our letter of support online (HERE), or by signing the attached printable letter. You can return the attached letter of support to us by mail or by email at the addresses below.
If you would like to know more about Out For Justice and our work to ensure women have equitable pre-release services in Maryland, please contact us via the information below.
We sincerely appreciate your support.
Out For Justice