Better deterrents, rehabilitation, and limiting prison gang activity

Because of the United States’ high incarceration rate, nearly 1 in every 100 citizens is behind bars. In Maryland, this costs us more than $783 million a year and crime rates remain stubbornly high.

Our prison systems and policing are also unrepresentative of Maryland’s population; African American Marylanders account for almost 60 percent of marijuana possession arrests but African Americans use marijuana in equal rates as other groups. Once arrested and charged with a crime, it is incredibly difficult to find employment or a place to live, dooming too many to a life of unfulfilled potential thanks to a needlessly tarnished record.

As a criminal defense attorney, Jon sees firsthand how broken our criminal justice is. As a legislator, Jon has worked to correct the problems of overcrowded prisons and racial disparity within the system. Many of Jon’s cases were for non-violent possession or distribution of marijuana. Incarceration for these non-violent crimes costs tax-payers about $200,000 per inmate due to mandatory minimum sentencing laws and lack of comprehensive treatment for drug users. Jon has since supported marijuana decriminalization and programs to keep at risk youth off the streets and out of prisons. Jon also supported the repeal of the death penalty last year.

As the Baltimore City prison scandal of late last year demonstrated, there remains a serious problem in our correctional system. Governmental systems can clearly run awry without proper oversight. The attorney general must play a role in ensuring that government programs run efficiently and effectively. As Attorney General, Jon will not permit lapses in oversight that allow for these exploitations. He will ensure government programs under his purview run professionally and serve Marylanders in the way they were intended.