Policy Action Alert – March 13, 2019
Support SB341/HB280 allowing our police force to issue citations instead of arresting Marylanders for simple possession of drugs and other misdemeanors.
We NEED your support – Several of our bills have been stalled in Bobby Zirkin’s Judicial Proceedings Committee. We NEED you to call Senator Zirkin and urge him to give a favorable report on critical legislation.
MAJR urgently asks you to call:
Senator Bobby Zirkin
Tell Bobby Zirkin that allowing our police force to issue citations instead of arresting Marylanders for simple possession of drugs and other misdemeanors will
- save the State significant time and money;
- allow the accused to continue to care for family;
- permit the police to use their best judgment.
We NEED you to contact each of the members of the Judicial Proceedings Committee and urge their support.
Sample Email/Phone Script:
My name is ______ and I am calling/emailing to urge you to support SB 341/HB 280 allowing our police force to issue citations instead of arresting Marylanders for simple possession of drugs and other misdemeanors. This important piece of legislation will save considerable funds, allow the accused to continue to care for family, and permit the police to use their best judgment. I strongly urge you to support SB 341/HB 280.
And here are the email addresses of all members of the Judicial Proceedings Committee:
Maryland Alliance for Justice Reform (MAJR) supports the Citation Bill—SB 341/HB 280— as a valuable tool for law enforcement. The Citations (HB0280) bill was overwhelmingly passed by the House in 2017 and again on March 8th, 2018. The full Senate should have the opportunity to support this important initiative!
A citation is a written order, in lieu of a warrantless arrest, that is issued by a law enforcement officer or other authorized official, requiring a person to appear in a designated court or governmental office at a specified time and date
The Final Report of The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing specifically recommends: “Law enforcement agencies should consider adopting preferences for seeking ‘least harm’ resolutions, such as diversion programs or warnings and citations in lieu of arrest for minor infractions” (Final Report, 2015, p. 43).
In their report on “Citation in Lieu of Arrest” the International Chiefs of Police noted: “As arrest numbers and prison populations have increased, a movement toward pretrial criminal justice reform has taken root. Stakeholders in the criminal justice system have sought ways to increase system efficiency, decrease costs, build trust between law enforcement and the public, protect the rights of the accused, and maximize public safety” (ICP, 2016, p. 6). As part of this movement, there has been increased discussion of using citations in lieu of full custodial arrest in appropriate situations.
For further information see:
Maryland Alliance for Justice Reform, Citations in Lieu of Arrest (2017): https://www.ma4jr.org/citations/
International Chiefs of Police, Citation in Lieu of Arrest (2016): http://www.iacp.org/Portals/0/documents/pdfs/IACP%20Citation%20Final%20Report%202016.pdf
Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing (2015): http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/pdf/taskforce/taskforce_finalreport.pdf