Apr 5, 2018

Action Alert – April 5, 2018

Black Caucus Rejects Hogan-Zirkin Crime Bill

The Maryland Legislative Black Caucus strongly rejected the proposed Senate Bill 122, even as amended by the House Judiciary Committee, because it will disproportionately impact poor communities of color. Senate Bill 122 does not address the causes of recidivism, poverty, or joblessness and will only drive unemployment by increasing the number of individuals who have a criminal record.

JOTF is thrilled that the Black Caucus rejected this proposed solution for Baltimore, and is cautiously optimistic that their colleagues in House of Delegates chamber of the Maryland General Assembly will respect their vote and follow suit in its opposition. JOTF strongly opposes SB 122 as it will increase incarceration through mandatory minimums and sentence enhancements and will also disproportionately impact poor communities of color.

Legislation that seeks to tie needed funding in community-based initiatives for Baltimore City to tried-and-failed mandatory minimums and sentence enhancements that ensure more black and brown residents are incarcerated is misguided and offensive. This is why the Legislative Black Caucus’ opposition should be respected and followed.

Your Delegate(s) needs to hear from YOU.

Please take a moment to contact your Delegate(s) to urge them to support the Black Caucus vote and urge the House Leadership to REJECT SB 122. Click here to input your address to locate your representatives.

Example Email/Phone Script:

Dear Delegate _____. My name is ______ and I am calling/emailing to urge your opposition of SB 122, which increases mandatory minimums and maximum sentences and disproportionately impacts communities of color. This bill will simply increase our reliance on incarceration, which does not deter crime and predominantly impacts communities of color from accessing stable, reliable employment. SB 122 does nothing to truly address the root causes of crime in Baltimore. We need to invest in supportive systems that increase employability, safety, and community. I urge you to oppose SB 122 and work towards better pathways for community safety that don’t rely on the heavy and ineffective use of mass incarceration.


For more information on SB 122, please contact Nikki Thompson, Senior Policy Advocate at nikki@jotf.org or 410-725-8434

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