Join LBS for our March Malcolm X Talk on Bail Reform in Maryland.
Over the past few of weeks, our bail reform effort has become tremendously controversial. Our bill, HB 1390 / SB 880 has been heard both in the Maryland House and the Senate. There is a rival bill that has emerged – HB 1215 / SB 983 – which is a bill essentially written by the bail bonds industry. It keeps the old cash bail system in place, with minor tweaks.
It is very important that we are clear that true bail reform is about undercutting the bail bonds industry’s profiteering off of Black people. Any bill that does not attempt to diminish the use of cash bail, as much as possible, is not true bail reform. HB 1215 is not true bail reform. It is a gift to the bail bonds industry. HB 1215 also rolls back the MD Court of Appeals decision from last month that explicitly asked judges to avoid the use of cash bail. This makes HB 1215 not just a bad bill, but a dangerous bill.
What is even worse is that the bail bonds industry has been able to get support for HB 1215 from some of the major Traditional Civil Rights organizations. The local branch of the National Action Network, the national Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the MD State NAACP and the Greater Baltimore Urban League are on the record as supporters of HB 1215. This has been deeply disappointing.
At the Malcolm X Talk, we’ll give an update on where we are on bail reform and give you ways to get involved!