First Step Act - a report from the Justice Committee

By Dick Williams, Justice Committee

“Ravens players back criminal justice reform,” read The Sun headline on Tuesday, November 27th.  In the article, reporter Jeff Barker, using the most general terms about the legislation that’s passed the House but has been stuck in the Senate for months, opined: “The legislation would give judges greater latitude to depart from mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug violations, and would bolster rehabilitation programs.”  Later in the article, he states: “The legislation’s broad aim is to minimize warehousing of prisoners and make it easier for inmates to succeed once released.”

The Justice Committee voted Monday night to recommend that Memorial parishioners consider and support this bill regardless of Sen. McConnell’s “nose count” of those Senators in favor of bringing the bill to the floor and those opposed, planned for yesterday (Tuesday).

Linked here is a website where you can very easily evidence online your support to your legislative reps in Congress.  I’ve done it.  Simple.  There are a number of articles about the bill that you can search for on the Internet.  Linked here is one opinion. 

At the same Justice Committee meeting, a question was asked about Maryland’s incarceration rate recently.  Earl Huck addressed the question.  Linked here and here for your interest are two articles that report on the question.  

If this legislation interests you, consider attending a meeting of your Justice Committee; usually the first Monday of the month from 6:30pm.