The Maryland Daily Record recently announced OSI-Baltimore 2014 Community Fellow Zina Makar will lead the new Pretrial Justice Clinic at the University of Baltimore School of Law. The clinic will focus on bail reform and pre-trial detention, “one of the major sources of mass incarceration in Maryland.”
During her fellowship, Makar partnered with the Public Defender’s office to file writs of habeas corpus to help prevent defendants from being held indefinitely without being charged. During the protests and subsequent uprising following the arrest and death of Freddie Gray, Makar wrote and filed 82 writs of habeas corpus for imprisoned protesters—men and women from all walks of life who were arrested for alleged crimes like disorderly conduct. The following day, police announced that 101 of the 250 people arrested were being released without charges.
Makar has made news in the past for her work helping poor defendants regain their freedom pre-trial.
“You’re essentially saying you can be free, but only if you have money,” she said in a City Paper article last year. “It doesn’t seem right.”