The oldest part of the Baltimore City Detention Center has, for too long, held people in deplorable, antiquated and harmful conditions.

The closure of the jail is an opportunity for the state to reevaluate its spending priorities. Money no longer spent on incarceration could be, instead, used to deliver beneficial services to a population that is in dire need of them.

We urge Maryland lawmakers, specifically the Maryland Justice Reinvestment Council to take a reinvestment approach to reducing the number of people in jail and prison by redirecting money that would have otherwise been spent on incarceration to communities that are most impacted by the justice system. By making coordinated, focused, and sustained investments in Baltimore’s communities, lawmakers will make communities safer and support lasting reductions in incarceration and justice system involvement.

JPI has issued a number of reports on these issues, including Baltimore Behind Bars (2010), Bailing on Baltimore (2012), When More is Less (2011), and the Right Investment (2015).