The Maryland Restorative Justice Initiative started as a four phase initiative. Our mission was, and is to advocate and promote humane and sensible criminal Justice and sentencing policies for those incarcerated long term in Maryland prisons. Our aim and objective are to advocate for policies so that individuals who have been Incarcerated for many years may receive meaningful consideration for release. We Believe that through actions of restoration, redemption and reconciliation, we can Create long-term systemic change.

The purpose of this initiative is to advocate on behalf of those serving long Term sentences so these men and women have a meaningful opportunity to regain Their freedom and become contributing members of their communities. The Initiative began in 1995 when policies changed in the Maryland Division of Correction for persons serving long term incarceration such that parole for this group Was effectively eliminated, (no one serving a parole eligible life sentence has been Paroled (out-right) since 1995) Concerned citizens, advocates, family members, and friends have advocated tirelessly throughout the years to change this policy.

In 2011 we advocated to change the policy, and sought to depoliticize parole by seeking to remove the governor from the process. Instead, legislators passed the 180 Rule, giving any setting governor 1.80 days to make a decision on recommendations sent to any governor's disk. Shortly after the legislation became effective in early 2012. Governor Martin O'Malley denied all of the 57 individuals serving parole eligible life sentences, citing former Governor Glendenning's "Life means Life policy. (Glendenning's no longer support this position)

In April 2012 the Unger decisions was decided affecting well over 200 people serving parole eligible life sentences, some of those denied parole in 2012 have been released under the Unger decision. (Overt 88 lifers have been released since 2013) We intends to demonstrate that those denied parole in 2012, not affected by the Unger decision are equally deserving of a meaningful opportunity of release. This is why we need your support because our mission is to seek sensible criminal justice policies, by removing the over reliance of mass incarceration, especially for those who have demonstrated that they are not a threat to public safety.

 

Walter Lomax, MRJI/MEC. 1111 ParkAve. Suite 151. Baltimore. Maryland 21201: P.O. Box 33313 Baltimore, Maryland 21218,

waltcrmanda]alomaxf^)hotmail.com; mrji4phases@gmsil.com; mec.nirii.'tf urn-ai 1 -com: Weh pages'mrji org-,

 

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