April 28, 2022
The vast majority of defendants in the Baltimore City District Court system who were held without bond before trial had their cases fully dropped or acquitted, according to a new report from the Baltimore Action Legal Team (BALT). The report analyzed 2019 data of bail hearings and case outcomes. It suggests that holding people pretrial does not actually enhance public safety and calls for an examination of the harm pretrial detention causes in communities in Baltimore.
BALT’s report provides important evidence as we continue to advocate for pretrial justice reform. To that end, the Coalition for a Safe & Just Maryland (of which BALT and the PJC are members) recently shared the report with the Maryland Judiciary’s Rules Review Subcommittee of the Committee On Equal Justice in support of our 2021 submission on the need for rules reform to address bias in excessive and unlawful use of preventive detention.