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What's Up with Criminal Justice Reform: March

Maryland Decriminalizing Marijuana

In February, the state of Maryland made a huge step in the progress of preventing further harm perpetuated by the crisis of mass incarceration. A bill was passed in the House “detailing how much a person could possess and which former arrests would be expunged…” according to the Washington Post. Marijuanna is currently legal for medical use but not recreational. This potential law is an indication of Maryland joining the other 18 states where recreational marijuana is legalized. While this milestone is not yet mentioned in state bills, the current measure does ensure people are able to possess marijuana without criminalization.

LGBTQ+ Organization Works to Provide Resources to Incarcerated NYC Residents

In many of our prisons across the country, incarcerated people are not given sufficient resources for health and basic living. WITNESS is an organization led by queer and formerly incarcerated women are working to counteract this. They have launched a Hats and Gloves Campaign that has been approved by the New York Department of Corrections to provide all prisoners across the New York City jail system with warm clothes to help them through this cold winter.

UCSF Adapts Restorative Justice Practices

In the last few years, restorative justice has expanded far beyond middle and high school students. Many large corporations and organizations are following suit in adapting a more restorative approach in workplaces. The most recent to join this upward trend is UCSF. Administration of the university released a statement explaining their reasoning for this change and optimism they have for it. “The goal is to create a harmonious community where harmful acts are unlikely; but when harm is done, RJ practices can be applied as a response to address the harm, identify individual and community needs, and restore the community. The wide application of restorative justice practices has the potential to transform people, relationships, and whole communities, including our UCSF community.”

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