We are Baltimore City residents.
We are voters.
We are parents.
We are family of incarcerated people.
We are advocates.
We are students.
We are data analysts and volunteers.
We are defendants.
We are survivors of violence.
And we are concerned.
We started this project because the courtrooms that exist in the popular imagination, and the rights that people are told we have, do not in any meaningful way exist in real life. Bail review is one of the places this is most stark and, we hope, most jarring.
Everyday, we witness human beings, referred to as defendants, being subjected to violence and harm in our “criminal justice” system. We reject this entire white supremacist, violent, punitive system as any version of “justice” and fight for a world where harm in our community is actually addressed and not multiplied. If you wish to see a world with less harm, this is not occurring in Baltimore City Circuit Court hearings and trials.
The primary target of this violence are our Black neighbors and we condemn this system which denies their humanity. We have witnessed families torn asunder, parents told that having been arrested means they don’t love their children, and children assumed to be irredeemable monsters. We have witnessed state’s attorneys argue that people are ‘a danger to the community’ who must be held pre-trial, only to eventually drop the charges.
These are not aberrations. This is common place. We hope you can join us in taking action by unveiling the realities to the broader public.
The best way to support this project is to re-amplify the sound we are amplifying. And please support public defenders however you can. We are fans, not affiliates, and we hope you will join us in this fight.