Where Anthony Stands

On the Issues

ANTHONY BROWN FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL

STRONG COMMUNITIES, STRONGER FAMILIES

Anthony believes that we can strengthen communities throughout Maryland by ensuring economic security for our families and small businesses, providing educational and training opportunities for our students and workforce, and creating safe neighborhoods to raise our children and pursue the American Dream.

Anthony understands that strong communities ensure strong families and he’s releasing plans to ensure everyone has a fair shot to get ahead. He’ll continue to release policy as he has more conversations with Marylanders across the state.


 

Voting Rights

The right to vote is sacred. While other states are passing laws to restrict an individual’s access to participate in our democracy, as Attorney General I will use the tremendous resources of the Office of the Attorney General to advocate for the continued expansion of voting access in Maryland and to protect the progress we have made.

While other states work to disenfranchise voters, particularly voters of color, Maryland must stand as a model for free and fair elections. We need to respond to anti-democratic and disenfranchisement efforts with pro-democracy reforms and the expansion of voting. We must step up enforcement against discriminatory measures aimed at limiting the vote and we cannot tolerate any form of intimidation or deceptive campaigning.

I am committed to this fight, in Maryland and around the country. Too many have marched for, fought for, and died for our right to vote. We cannot turn back now.

Fighting for Progress

In Congress, I have been a leading advocate for protecting the right to vote. I am a co-sponsor of H.R. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act which seeks to restore Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act and to hold jurisdictions with a history of discriminatory practices and intent accountable.

In addition to the John R. Lewis Voting Right Advancement Act, I have led several efforts included in H.R. 1, the For The People Act including:

  • The Voter Registration Reporting Act: Requires states to submit annual reports on voter registration to the Election Assistance Commission and Congress.
  • The Polling Change Awareness Act: Requires states to meet notification requirements for voters affected by polling place changes.
  • The Voter Information Hotline Act: Directs the Attorney General to establish a voter information response system and hotline to respond to the questions and complaints of voters in Federal elections.
  • The Expanding Access to Early Voting Act: Requires each state to allow individuals to vote in Federal elections during an early voting period, which occurs prior to the date of the election and in the same manner as voting is allowed on the election day.
  • An amendment on Absentee Ballot Registration: Requires states to include an option for an absentee ballot in the next and subsequent federal elections on a voter registration application form as part of registering for a state motor vehicle driver’s license.

I have also urged United States Attorney General Garland to use the full might of the Department of Justice to litigate laws designed to suppress voter turnout and invalidate election outcomes.

Vision for Maryland

We must ensure the right to vote is protected for all Marylanders by advocating for policies that encourage and bolster voter participation. All voters, especially those from historically disenfranchised communities, must have the opportunity to register and vote. That includes protecting our voting systems, supporting the expansion of early voting and voting by mail, strengthening automatic voter registration, and ensuring that eligible voters are allowed to cast a ballot.

As your Attorney General, I will stand ready to defend our democracy and help Maryland be a model of election fairness for states around the country.


 

Cannabis Legalization

For too long, Maryland has felt the crippling effects of marijuana criminalization. Families and whole neighborhoods have been torn apart from laws and policies that have disproportionately impacted communities of color for decades. Black people are over three times as likely to be criminally charged for cannabis possession as white people – despite those two groups using cannabis at the same rates.

Two-thirds of Marylanders favor the legalization of cannabis. It is time for our state to catch up with many other states that have already taken steps to reverse the failed “War on Drugs” while opening up critical revenue streams for underserved communities, education programs, and health care services.

Fighting for Progress

During my time in Congress, I have been a strong supporter of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act which would decriminalize cannabis at the federal level.

But the legislation would also go further to combat the detrimental effects of the “War on Drugs” by:

  • Establishing a trust fund to support various programs and services for individuals who have been impacted by the war on drugs.
  • Creating a process to expunge convictions and conduct sentencing review hearings related to federal cannabis offenses.
  • Making Small Business Administration loans and services available to entities that are cannabis-related businesses and service providers. 

While Congress has failed to pass meaningful cannabis reform, I believe this is a strong framework for the path forward to reversing the detrimental effects of the War on Drugs. 

I also supported:

  • The SAFE Banking Act to prohibit a federal banking regulator from penalizing a depository institution for providing banking services to a legitimate cannabis-related business in states where cannabis is already legal for adult use, and
  • The Medical Marijuana Research Act to ensure researchers have the tools and processes in place to help us better understand the impacts of cannabis. 

Vision for Maryland

This year, the Maryland General Assembly will consider a bill to allow adults 21 and older to purchase and possess up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana and decriminalize possession of amounts greater than up to 2.5 ounces. I strongly support this effort and the companion legislation that would ensure we move forward equitably by taking strong steps, similarly to the MORE Act, to support the communities disproportionately impacted by marijuana laws. It would create a fund to support small, minority-owned and women-owned businesses entering the adult-use cannabis industry as well as supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities and business incubator programs. We must ensure that the communities who have been most negatively impacted by the outdated marijuana laws see the economic benefits of the new policies.

I testified in support of this legislation at the General Assembly–as well as a bill that would send the question to referendum for the people of Maryland to decide on lawful adult cannabis use–and I will continue to strongly advocate for this until we get it passed.


 

Protecting Reproductive Rights

Abortion and reproductive health care rights are under attack. Maryland and our next Attorney General must be ready to protect these rights in our communities and fight for Americans around the country.

Many states across the country are preparing to greatly restrict or ban a woman’s ability to access abortion services. We must ensure that Maryland is equipped to be a safe haven for individuals seeking this vital health care. 

We must put in place the funding, training, and judicial framework necessary to accept and meet the needs of Marylanders, as well as the anticipated influx of patients and providers as they leave other states that have imposed new restrictions on women’s healthcare.

And we must continue to stand firm and defend the rights of individuals to make their own reproductive decisions. 

Fighting for Progress

From Annapolis–as a former member of the General Assembly and your Lieutenant Governor–to Capitol Hill, as a Member of Congress, I have consistently defended women’s access to reproductive healthcare and fought against the politicization of women’s health happening across the country. 

In Congress, I worked with my colleagues to proactively pass legislation that would protect reproductive rights, including:

  • Sponsoring, the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021 (H.R. 3755)
    • This legislation codifies Roe v. Wade into federal law and protects a person’s reproductive rights and a health care provider’s ability to provide abortion services.
    • While Maryland has strong protections in law to protect women’s access to abortion, we need to ensure that our state also has the resources and training in place to prepare for a possible surge of patients and providers coming to our state for care.
  • Signing onto the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Congressional amicus brief filed in the United States Supreme Court, to protect the basic fundamental rights of women to control their bodies, choose whether and when to start a family, determine their life course, and participate as equals in American life.
  • Advocating in January 2022 in a letter to Defense Secretary Austin on behalf of our women in the Armed Forces, urging him to use his existing authority to waive TRICARE co-pays for contraception for our veterans and servicemembers. 
    • While the Affordable Care Act guarantees that employer-sponsored and marketplace health plans cover preventive services without cost-sharing, including contraception, these protections don’t extend to TRICARE. As a result, some military families are subject to copays for their care, while civilians are not.
  • As an original cosponsor of Rep. Jackie Speier’s bill, Access to Contraception for Servicemembers and Dependents Act of 2021 (H.R. 2709).
    • This bill prohibits cost-sharing for contraceptives or contraceptive-related care under TRICARE. 
    • It also requires the Department of Defense to provide information on emergency contraception to sexual assault survivors, and upon request by the survivor, provide them with emergency contraception or a prescription for emergency contraception.

Vision for Maryland

As Attorney General, I will fight to preserve and guarantee access to reproductive health services and birth control and to help find new ways to expand access to abortion and contraception. 

I will continually seek out opportunities to strengthen these services in every community across the state. That includes reaffirming protections through the Freedom of Choice Act and advocating for a Maryland constitutional amendment that protects reproductive rights. I will also work to ensure that health insurance companies are following current Maryland law, which requires them to offer plans that cover post-procedure medication and equitable coverage, as well as advocating for increased state funding to ensure that Maryland can be the backstop of the nation for access to reproductive healthcare.

We also must focus on improving maternal health outcomes, especially in historically underserved communities, advocate for evidence-based reproductive health education with expanded access in schools and colleges, and to protect those that are most vulnerable. 

And I will join forces with other Attorneys General across the nation to defend reproductive rights wherever they are under assault in our country.


 

Gun Violence Prevention in Our Communities

Gun violence is a plague on our communities. It has torn too many families apart. For too long we’ve seen senseless gun violence in our schools, places of worship, workplaces, neighborhoods, and public spaces. We can’t normalize this violence – we need action now. 

While we have taken bold steps in Maryland to address gun violence, more needs to be done to protect our families and students. 

Fighting for Progress:

During my time as Maryland’s Lieutenant Governor, we were successful in passing the Firearm Safety Act. This law established Maryland as a leader in the area of gun violence prevention. This law was a comprehensive package that enacted popular and commonsense reforms such as a limit on magazine capacity, requiring common-sense licensing requirements for future handgun purchases, mandatory reporting of lost and stolen firearms, enacted better data sharing requirements between government partners, and streamlined the firearm application process to ensure better accuracy. 

In Congress, I introduced and supported a number of critical pieces of legislation to address gun violence in our communities. 

I introduced the Raise the Age Act to prohibit anyone under the age of 21 from purchasing a semi-automatic rifle that has or can accept large magazines. This legislation also required the Federal Bureau of Investigation to fix their Public Access tipline to ensure that when people take the step of calling the FBI to report concerning behavior, the FBI is actually there to listen. 

I also expanded on my work as Maryland’s Lieutenant Governor when we passed Cathy’s Law to authorize judges to order domestic abusers to surrender their firearms and banned the purchase or sale of assault weapons by introducing the Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act in Congress. This legislation would close the so-called “boyfriend loophole” to protect dating partners in dangerous situations, expand temporary restraining orders to be in line with permanent restraining orders with respect to possession of firearms, and would bring stalking in line with other domestic violence crimes. 

Additionally, I introduced the Preventing Domestic Violence Homicides Through Assessment Training Act, which takes the idea behind Maryland’s Lethality Assessment Program and scales it up to give local governments additional tools to connect domestic violence survivors with community-based service providers and to try and stop violence before it starts.

Lastly, I introduced the Make Identifiable Criminal Rounds Obvious (MICRO) Act, to prohibit federal firearms licensees from manufacturing, selling, or transferring semi-automatic handguns, unless those handguns are capable of microstamping ammunition. Microstamping builds on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) use of automated ballistic imaging and comparison equipment to analyze crime gun evidence.

Other key pieces of legislation that I co-sponsored during my time in Congress include: 

Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021

  • Ensures universal background checks for all gun sales.
  • Seeks to reduce the number of gun sales to dangerous people by requiring both licensed dealers and unlicensed sellers (via gun shows, online, or person-to-person) to conduct background checks.

Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021

  • Fixes the “Charleston Loophole” to strengthen the background check procedures to be followed before a Federal firearms licensee may transfer a firearm to a person who is not such a licensee.

Extreme Risk Protection Order Act

  • Assists states enact laws that allow family members and law enforcement to acquire temporary court orders to have guns removed from dangerous individuals.

Ghost Guns are Guns Act

  • Closes the “ghost guns” loophole which allows purchasers to avoid federal background checks by buying unassembled firearms online.
  • Amends Title 18 of the United States Code to include firearm assembly kits in the definition of firearms.

Untraceable Firearms Act of 2021

  • Ensures that ghost guns, including firearms manufactured or completed using 3D printing, are subject to existing federal firearm regulations, including:
    • Requiring that anyone who participates in the production of frames or receivers has a manufacturer’s license.
    • Requiring that the manufacturer serialize a partial receiver before it is transferred to another entity.
    • Clarifying that purchasers must undergo a background check before acquiring a partial receiver.
    • Prohibiting anyone other than a manufacturer or licensed importer from engraving a serial number on a firearm, so as to ensure that ATF is able to trace the firearm, kit, or receiver.

Vision for Maryland

I will dedicate my resources as Attorney General to crack down on ghost guns, support and enforce Maryland’s new “red flag law”, and ensure that individuals who commit violent offenses using firearms are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

On February 15, 2022, it was announced that Remington Arms will pay $73 million to families of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre, the first time a firearms manufacturer has been found responsible in our country for a mass shooting event through the way they market their firearms. This is a major first step in the right direction towards finding accountability for these types of shooting events in our country, and as Maryland’s Attorney General, I will support efforts to further investigate firearms manufacturers’ marketing materials and involvement in mass shootings.

I will continue my work in Congress to improve upon Maryland’s ballistics imaging program to help us better find and prosecute those who commit violent crimes with firearms, and promote microstamping requirements, and I will use the platform of Attorney General to continue Maryland’s record of having some of the strongest gun laws in the country to promote safe storage policies to keep more Marylanders safe, creating and expanding gun violence intervention programs, and increased communication with local offices when someone fails a background check. We can no longer wait to do more. Our communities are at risk.


 

Protecting the Environment

Every Marylander deserves access to clean water, clean air, and the security of knowing that their future and their children’s futures are secure from the existential threat of climate change. 

As Attorney General, I will fight every day to secure that for all Marylanders. 

The Chesapeake Bay is a national treasure that has helped shape Maryland’s culture and economy for centuries. There are 110,000 miles of creeks, rivers, and streams flowing into the Chesapeake, which means that nearly every Marylander encounters its waterways, and we all have a stake in making sure our waters are clean.

We must also be focused on environmental justice and repairing the harms done by environmental hazards such as air pollution, lead exposure, improper waste disposal that impact tens of thousands of Marylanders every year and most often impact minority communities and increase health disparities.

I firmly believe that climate change is one of the gravest national security threats we face. We need to invest in renewable energy, cut greenhouse emissions, and build 21st-century infrastructure that prioritizes green public transportation.

Fighting for Progress

From my years in the General Assembly to my time as Lt. Governor to Congress now, we’ve worked side by side with tireless environmental advocates to protect the environment and secure Maryland’s future. We still have work to do but I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish including helping to pass the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act, which enabled Maryland to produce new clean energy and create jobs.

In Congress, we were able to secure funding for key environmental protection programs: $3.6 billion in funding to support habitat restoration, management, and research for Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed; over $30 million for the construction of the Anacostia Watershed Restoration Project; $50 million for the EPA to fund environmental justice programs across the country, including local projects in Baltimore; and we increased the overall authorized funding level for the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Restoration Protection Program projects to $90 million.

I successfully stood up to Trump when his administration planned to allow offshore drilling and eliminate funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program. We also stood up to Trump when he pulled out of the Paris Climate Change Accord and advocated to ensure that rejoining was a top priority for the next president.

Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, we were also able to help secure key funding for infrastructure improvements across Maryland, including millions to improve water infrastructure across the state, billions for public transportation, and millions to expand our EV charging network.

Vision for Maryland

Currently, the Office of the Attorney General’s environmental enforcement authority flows from an invitation from the Maryland Department of Agriculture or Maryland Department of the Environment. That creates large problems when environment enforcement isn’t a priority to the administration. We’ve seen a dramatic decrease in environmental inspections and enforcement actions under Governor Hogan, like what was experienced under Governor Ehrlich. 

In those situations, the Attorney General has limited authority to bring the full range of actions. More enforcement authority is needed.

During my first legislative session as Attorney General, I will seek independent authority to investigate and enforce violations of environmental laws so environmental enforcement won’t simply be based on who wins the Governor’s seat. I will also advocate for a law like that which was recently passed in New Jersey which requires the Department of the Environment to evaluate the environmental and public health impacts of certain facilities on overburdened communities when reviewing certain permit applications.

As Attorney General, our office will act with a sense of urgency every day to protect our environment and secure a healthy, green future for our state, our communities, and our children.

 


 

Justice for All. Lifting Up Black Marylanders

As a former Delegate in the Maryland General Assembly, I was a member of and worked with the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland to develop policy proposals rooted in equity, equality, and fairness that will move our state forward. In Congress, I am also a member of and work with the Congressional Black Caucus to develop a national agenda rooted in those same values. As Attorney General, I will continue to work tirelessly to uplift Black Marylanders. 

Fighting for Progress

Economic Justice

From housing, including addressing redlining and discriminatory lending practices, to student loans, which are an extreme driver of the racial wealth gap, as Attorney General I will proactively work to increase economic mobility and reduce the wealth gap for Black Marylanders. And I will advocate for policies that will do the same, even if they fall outside the direct authority of the Office of the Attorney General.

For example, Black people are over three times as likely to be criminally charged for cannabis possession as white people – despite those two groups using cannabis at the same rates. So as we continue to move closer to allowing lawful adult use of marijuana in Maryland which I support, we need to ensure that Black communities see the economic benefits of this change. When legalization happens, Maryland should create a fund to support small, minority-owned, and women-owned businesses entering the adult-use cannabis industry as well as supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities and business incubator programs.

A large piece of increasing economic mobility is increasing worker power. In Congress, I am a proud cosponsor of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. This legislation empowers workers to exercise their right to organize while holding employers accountable for violating workers’ rights. According to the Economic Policy Institute, “Passing the PRO Act would also promote greater racial economic justice because unions and collective bargaining help shrink the Black–white wage gap and bring greater fairness to the workplace.”

As Attorney General, I will continue to support unions and workers’ rights, as well fight to reduce wage theft and worker misclassification which contribute to the racial wealth gap.

Voting Rights

The right to vote is sacred. While other states are passing laws to restrict an individual’s access to participate in our democracy, as Attorney General I will use the tremendous resources of the Office of the Attorney General to advocate for the continued expansion of access to voting in Maryland and to protect the progress we have made.

While other states work to disenfranchise voters, particularly voters of color, Maryland must stand as a model for free and fair elections. We need to respond to anti-democratic and disenfranchisement efforts with pro-democracy reforms and the expansion of voting. We must step up enforcement against discriminatory measures aimed at limiting the vote and we cannot tolerate any form of intimidation or deceptive campaigning. I am committed to this fight, in Maryland and around the country. Too many have marched for, fought for, and died for our right to vote. We cannot turn back now.

Healthcare 

As the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated, we have a long way to go with respect to the health disparities that plague the Black community. We need to expand access to health care resources in underserved areas. As your Lieutenant Governor, I spearheaded the Health Enterprise Zones Initiative, which was successful in reducing health disparities among minority populations, improved health care access and health outcomes in underserved areas, and reduced healthcare costs and hospital admissions in the designated areas. 

In Congress, I was proud to introduce the Health Enterprise Zones Act, to bring the successful Maryland program into the national conversation. In addition to this, I strongly support the expansion of Paid Family Leave, securing funding to protect our public health infrastructure, and finding ways to address the specific healthcare needs of the Black community that stems from decades of systemic medical and social inequalities. 

We also must continue to be proactively taking steps to reduce the unacceptable maternal mortality rates of Black women which is more than twice that of white women. 

I’m a strong supporter of the Momnibus legislation which will help address this issue. It works to increase the number of maternal health care providers where there are shortages in many Black communities and funds community-based organizations working on Black maternal health. 

Education

A good education is an important cornerstone to increasing opportunities in someone’s life, both economically and culturally. I strongly support funding for public school education programs, especially with respect to our Historically Black Colleges and Universities. 

I will also be a partner in the implementation of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future which couldn’t have come at a more critical time. The pandemic has laid bare the inequities in our education system and implementing the Blueprint so that we ensure that every student can have a first-class education regardless of race, gender or family income will take a true ally in the Attorney General’s office. 

Criminal Justice Reform

As we know, we have much further to go with respect to policing and our criminal justice system. We need to recognize the decades of systemic racism present in our legal system, which held back Black Marylanders and communities of color, and we need to advance bold solutions to make Maryland safer and more just. As a lawyer, JAG officer, Lt. Governor and Congressman, I’ve seen how our legal system can succeed or fail in our pursuit of justice.

I was a lead sponsor on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act which would make major, needed reforms to policing across the country. This legislation would establish a national framework to combat racial profiling by law enforcement at all levels, ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants, require body cameras, and seek to change policing culture by building off President Obama’s Taskforce for 21st Century Policing. Maryland has been able to pass some of these reforms at the state level, but a key issue included in the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act that still must be addressed is limiting qualified immunity. I’ll continue to advocate for this reform as Attorney General.

I also supported the passage of the First Step Act, a commonsense law that is one of the most significant criminal justice reforms in years. It works to improve federal prison conditions – including banning the shackling of women during childbirth and requiring that incarcerated people are placed closer to their families – reduces the federal prison population and reduces recidivism among offenders through evidence-based practices. 

Vision for Maryland

The struggles facing the Black community in Maryland aren’t simply problems of the past, they are our current reality and responsibility. I’ve dedicated my career to championing communities in Maryland who too often feel forgotten and to fighting for policies to close these gaps in opportunity and access to resources. And as Attorney General, I’ll strenuously defend the rights of Black Marylanders, advocate for long overdue reforms to our justice system, and ensure that equity and fairness are central in how we effectively carry out the laws of our state. 

We have a chance to build on the progress of the visionaries who came before us and leave a better country and state for the next generation. I’m committed to these fights and will continue to fight for them in Maryland. I know progress is possible. Our history proves it.

 


 

Criminal Justice Reform

Too many barriers still exist in Maryland when it comes to policing and our criminal justice system, especially for Black Marylanders and other communities of color. We rely on jails and prisons to be some of the largest mental health providers in the state while not properly funding those services. We’re not providing enough funding for re-entry programs so that offenders won’t simply slip back into the system. And violent crime is still increasing. We need bold solutions now to make Maryland safer and more just.

As a lawyer, JAG officer, Lt. Governor, and Congressman, I’ve seen how our legal system can succeed or fail in our pursuit of justice. I’m committed to reforming our criminal justice system to ensure equality under the law no matter who you are. I believe that we can build a criminal justice system that delivers justice for victims, safeguards our streets, and corrects the harmful mistakes of our past.

Fighting for Marylanders

In Congress, I’ve sponsored and advocated for several major criminal justice reform efforts to create a more equitable and fair system. 

I was a lead sponsor on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act which would make major, needed reforms to policing across the country. This legislation would establish a national framework to combat racial profiling by law enforcement at all levels, ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants, require body cameras, and seek to change policing culture by building off President Obama’s Taskforce for 21st Century Policing. Maryland has been able to pass some of these reforms at the state level, but a key issue included in the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act that still must be addressed is limiting qualified immunity. I’ll continue to advocate for this reform as Attorney General.

I also supported the passage of the First Step Act, a commonsense law that is one of the most significant criminal justice reforms in years. It works to improve federal prison conditions – including banning the shackling of women during childbirth and requiring that incarcerated people are placed closer to their families – reduces the federal prison population and reduces recidivism among offenders through evidence-based practices. 

I was a leader in pushing to change the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) to ensure servicemembers who experience sexual violence in our military receive fair treatment. The most impactful reform was creating an independent military prosecutor who will make decisions on each case, and not have a decision made from within the victim’s own chain of command. Other offenses that were moved out of the chain of command were domestic violence, stalking, murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, and other special victim offenses. While the military has much further to go to address racial bias in the UCMJ, and how our servicemembers of color are prosecuted, these reforms are long-awaited progress on behalf of servicemembers who were for too long denied equal justice.

I also worked on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee to introduce the BIAS Act of 2021, which provides grants to institutions of higher education for research development, technology transfer, and training activities in the operation or establishment of an implicit bias training program in conjunction with local police departments. Modeled off a successful program at the University of Maryland, this legislation seeks to develop partnerships between local law enforcement and universities to thoroughly study this systemic problem and develop effective training to allow us to better address implicit bias and racial profiling in policing. These kinds of partnerships increase our understanding of our own unconscious bias while helping police departments become better community partners. Bringing together academic institutions and local law enforcement allows us to explore new opportunities as well as new technologies – at a time when we must transform policing in this country. 

Vision for Maryland

Whether someone is released from jail pending trial should not be determined on their ability to pay. This is why I strongly support reforming the bail system. The decision on whether someone should be released before trial should be made after a determination if someone is a flight risk or at risk to themselves or others. The money bail system disproportionately impacts communities of color and low-income individuals who have not been convicted of crimes.

We need to make changes in the juvenile justice system to ensure children taken into custody have full access to legal consultation, are advised of their rights when being questioned, and ensure that their families are engaged in the process. We need to end the practice of charging children as adults for certain charges and establish a minimum age for the jurisdiction of children within the justice system. The Maryland General Assembly is making strong progress on juvenile justice reform this year and I look forward to working with them to continue to take steps forward.

We must have a mission of dramatically reducing Maryland’s recidivism rate. 95% of offenders across the United States will be released at some point. It’s in their interest, the taxpayer’s interest, and the general public’s interest to set them up to succeed upon reentering society. That means by increasing investments in parole and probation services including re-entry programs, as well as expanding educational and job-training programs during incarceration and ensuring incarcerated people have access to behavioral health treatment and housing and employment services.

We need to remain focused on reducing violent crime around our state. This includes cracking down on the circulation of illegal firearms, banning ghost guns, and working with our neighboring states to fight back against illegal firearms trafficking. While Maryland has some of the most effective gun violence prevention laws in the country, illegal trafficking of guns from out of state is still an issue.

Lastly, we must keep a focus on public safety. Law enforcement plays a key role in keeping our communities safe and combating violent crime in our neighborhoods. We must have trust between law enforcement and the community which means accountability. As Attorney General, I will support the reduced militarization of local police, removing and seeking to prosecute bad officers, seeking charges for illegal behavior, increasing transparency, while also making the investments necessary to ensure police can effectively police our communities, not occupy them. We also must ensure that we’re funding community policing and an expansion of mental health services at the local level.

As Attorney General, I’ll continue to do everything in my power to build a fair and equitable criminal justice system for Marylanders that delivers justice and ensures fair treatment and safety for all.