Yesterday, Tara Huffman, director of OSI’s Criminal and Juvenile Justice program was a guest on WEAA’s The Marc Steiner Show for a discussion about Baltimore’s Consent Decree.
Huffman explained where the consent decree stands, both legally and politically. Legally, the decree has been finalized and under the jurisdiction of the the court, “neither the City, nor the Baltimore Police Department nor the DOJ can unilaterally undo the Consent Decree,” Huffman said. “It is law, and all parties must comply,” with the federal order that Judge Bredar signed. The next step will be to assign a federal monitoring team that will work for the judge.
However, Huffman explained, politically, the process is much more precarious. Ideally, all three partners–the City, the BPD and particularly, the DOJ—should be working as “robust” partners, making sure the Consent Decree is enforced. When one or more parties challenge any part of the decree, compliance becomes much more difficult.
Huffman discussed the current concerns with the Consent Decree process with Dr. Kenneth O. Morgan, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Urban Studies Program and the Department of Criminal Justice and Applied Social and Political Sciences at Coppin State University; and Brittany Oliver, writer, advocate, photojournalist and Police Accountability Coordinator and Communications Associate at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland.