• The Right to a Fair Trial: Unger v. State

    We must correct errors and maintain a criminal justice system we can be proud of—one where the people involved receive justice and second chances.

  • The Perry Hall case and the danger of prosecuting youth as adults

    An unthinking “lock ’em up” approach does not adequately serve either the youth involved in criminal cases or the larger society. Maryland decision makers should rethink the practice of prosecuting and sentencing youth as adults and appropriately deal with all criminal cases involving youth in the system created especially for them—the juvenile justice system.

  • No new youth jail for Baltimore but we must end the practice of charging youth as adults

    This week, Governor O’Malley’s administration announced that it will not build a $70 million 120-bed jail for youth who are charged as adults. Instead, it proposes spending $30 million to renovate an existing adult correctional facility that will be downsized to house up to 60 youth while they await their trials. Taking advantage of these savings, the administration also plans to build a treatment center for young people who are committed to the juvenile justice system and in need of residential treatment services. The total cost of these two ventures is estimated to be $73 million.

  • Racial differences in Maryland’s justice system raise civil rights concerns

    This summer, the United States dominated the Summer Olympics by receiving more medals than any other country in the world. Sadly, the U.S. also leads the world in the number of people it incarcerates—about 2.3 million. And, most people in this country’s prisons and jails are disproportionately African American or Latino.

  • 4 reasons why Baltimore doesn’t need another jail

    Did you know that Maryland officials plan to spend almost $100 million dollars to build a new jail in Baltimore City? This jail would be used exclusively for youth, ages 14 through 17, who are arrested, charged as an adult and locked up as they wait for their trials to be held. In these hard economic times, we believe that a new jail is unnecessary and a waste of tax-payer dollars.

  • Maryland can do more to responsibly reduce the prison population

    Maryland budget analysts had the right idea when they recently told legislators that the state could save money and adequately staff all correctional facilities by reducing the prison population and closing at least one prison. (Analysts recommend reducing Maryland’s prison population, Associated Press, Feb. 26, 2010.) The reality is that Maryland already is reducing its […]

  • What do Baltimore’s children & youth need to succeed? Let’s ask them

    I have practiced civil rights law for twelve years and have had the pleasure of traveling to cities across this country to work with youth, particularly African-American and Latino youth, who wanted to improve services provided by public schools and juvenile justice systems.   When I think about some of the youth I have met, I […]