The bill to create a women's prerelease center in Maryland has passed with a veto-proof margin. Please call and thank your state representatives and senators for passing this important bill.
The following is a message from Beth Tomasello:
"Dear Allies of Women’s Prerelease,
I am writing with the great news that SB684, the final version of the women’s prerelease bill to pass the Senate, just passed the House of Delegates 104-27, and Maryland is now required by law to operate a standalone prerelease unit for incarcerated women in Maryland. The women’s prerelease unit will be operated in Baltimore, not in a prison converted to a co-ed facility in Jessup. If my math is correct, the bill passed with veto-proof majorities in both the House and the Senate. This is a huge victory for the formerly incarcerated women who saw an injustice and have worked so hard for many years to correct it. More importantly, it is also a huge victory for the invisible, voiceless women incarcerated in MCI-W who desperately need comprehensive, community-based prerelease services.
You, too, are a part of this victory, and I am so grateful that you were willing to put the power of your voices behind the women who needed it. When the legislative aides describe the volume of submitted testimony as “tons,” and when committee members state in hearings that they have never seen so much testimony submitted on a bill, you know that the work you put into getting this bill passed had a big impact. Every piece of testimony, every phone call, and every email mattered. Thank you all so much.
There is one final task for all of us. Please email your Senators and Delegates to thank them for supporting SB684. In the year of Kirwan and Covid-19, they had ready-made excuses which would have allowed them to put this bill off to some future time. But, they did not, and for that, they deserve our thanks.
Thank you again so much for your support of women’s prerelease. At least in Maryland, democracy still works and a just cause can still win. Perhaps we will come together again to advocate for other legislation to improve the administration of justice (or the lack thereof) for Maryland’s women. Until then, I hope you all stay well and your communities stay healthy and strong.
All the best,
Criminal Justice Advocacy Captain
Women’s Democratic Club of Montgomery County"