Maryland lawmakers from East Baltimore are promoting a series of proposals that they say would address causes of crime, help solve crimes and reduce recidivism.
Del. Caylin Young and Del. Jackie Addison, both first-year lawmakers from East Baltimore, unveiled a package of bills on Wednesday that they hope to pass this General Assembly session.
“There’s a sense of urgency that we need to be mindful of,” Young said after reeling off a list of shootings and killings in his community.
Young and Addison had the backing of Baltimore State’s Attorney Ivan Bates, Baltimore Sheriff Sam Cogen and Deputy Mayor Anthony Barksdale at a press conference in Annapolis Wednesday.
The proposals include bills that would:
- Create a state fund to pay to relocate victims of gun violence.
- Remove use of marijuana as grounds for a probation violation in most cases.
- Create a Postconviction Work Readiness Program for people leaving incarceration.
- Establish a task force to study preventing murder in Maryland.
- Mandate that people charged with gun trafficking, ghost gun possession or participating in a straw purchase of a gun cannot be released before trial by a court commissioner.
- Create a state fund to help boost Metro Crime Stoppers rewards for crime tips.
- Set up a pilot program to give security and camera systems to residents of high-crime neighborhoods.
- Require state prisons to pay minimum wage to inmates who work.
Young acknowledged that many of the proposals have a high price tag and face some challenges in the legislature, but he said it’s important to put these ideas forward as part of the “larger conversation” on public safety.
“We will put this on the table. Everything isn’t probably going to get passed this year,” he said.