Jul 27, 2020 / Criminal Justice

Community groups unite for criminal justice reform in Maryland

Maryland’s criminal laws and policies must be reviewed and when necessary changed to protect minorities, exploited women and the poor from being targeted by the police simply because of who they are, members of a fledgling coalition of community organizations said Wednesday.

Christopher Dews, one of JOTF’s policy advocate and who chairs the commission’s poverty panel, voiced concern for laws that enable indigent debtors to be jailed for the civil offense of not paying a court-ordered fine or judgment for a creditor. People should not lose their liberty for “the fatal crime of just being poor,” said Dews.

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