Maryland State

“If a fellow Hebrew … is sold to you, they shall serve you six years, and in the seventh year you shall set them free. When you set them free, do not let them go empty-handed: Furnish them out of the flock, threshing floor, and vat, with which your God has blessed you. Bear in mind that you were slaves in the land of Egypt and your God redeemed you; therefore I enjoin this commandment upon you today.”

– Deuteronomy 15:12-15

JUFJ is guided by the Jewish value of Tzelem Elohim, that all people are created in the divine image, with inherent and equal dignity and value. All people should be treated with dignity and respect, whether they have been incarcerated or not. People who have been incarcerated face marginalization, perpetual punishment, and barriers to housing and employment, especially Black and brown people who are unjustly targeted because of their race. We need to prevent unjust incarceration and support Marylanders to successfully return from incarceration into the rest of society.

The People: Returning citizens, their families, their communities, and everyone who faces undue social and financial hardship as a result of their contact with the Maryland criminal justice system. Our racist justice system disproportionately targets Black and Brown people.

The Legislation: 

  • Create women’s pre-release facilities. Pre-release programs help soon to be released people secure employment, treatment, and family support. Maryland has nine of these facilities for men and none for women.
  • Expand the charges that are eligible for expungement. Most charges that do not lead to conviction can be expunged. If someone is charged with a group of crimes (a “unit”) and convicted of just one, none of the charges can be expunged.
  • Prohibit interrogations of young people without their guardians or lawyers present. Officers in Maryland can interrogate a child and decide if that child understands their rights. Children should have a lawyer/guardian with them instead of relying on the judgement of police.
  • Compensate victims of wrongful conviction and confinement.

Key Partners: Out for Justice, ACLU

Related Events

  • “Destroying the Soul” The Case Against Solitary Confinement in Prison

    December 19 | 7:00 pm8:30 pm

    Please join Beth Am’s Social Action Committee’s panel discussion, “Destroying the Soul,” The case against solitary confinement in prison.

  • Lobby Night

    February 17, 2020 | 5:00 pm8:00 pm

    Join JUFJ and learn the basics of how the Maryland General Assembly functions in Annapolis, and the work JUFJ will be doing during the 2020 state session.

  • Pursuing Justice 2020

    May 3, 2020May 5, 2020

    JUFJ is a proud cosponsor of Pursuing Justice 2020, Bend the Arc’s national conference. This conference will bring together progressive activists and organizers who root their work in Jewish values for three days of learning, connection, and solidarity in Washington DC.

Campaign Organizers