Thursday, February 2, 2023


Palestinian advocates praise a new fact sheet on discrimination, Pennsylvania considers extending deadlines for abuse claims, and North Dakota's corporate farming debate affects landowners and tribes.


Vice President Kamala Harris urges Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, the House begins the process to impeach the Homeland Security Secretary, and the Federal Reserve nudges interest rates up.


Is bird flu, inflation or price gouging to blame for astronomical egg prices? Pregnancy can be life-changing or life-ending depending on where you live, and nine tribal schools are transforming their outdoor spaces into community gathering areas.

MD Bill Would Boost Support for Incarcerated Parents


Thursday, December 16, 2021   

BALTIMORE -- With Maryland's General Assembly session set to start next month, a new proposed bill aims to help nonviolent offenders continue in their caretaking roles after sentencing.

Sponsored by Del. Lesley Lopez, D-Montgomery, and Sen. Jill Carter, D-Baltimore, the bill would allow judges to send offenders to community-based alternatives to prison or home confinement if they're primary caretakers of children or elderly relatives.

Ava Levine, intern for the Maryland Justice Project, pointed out the legislation will be a boon to women because research shows about two-thirds of incarcerated women in the United States are the primary caretaker to a child.

"When you send these primary caretakers to prison, it prevents parents from being with their children," Levine explained. "A lot of these children will end up in foster care, or they'll end up being cared for by a different family members. And we really just believe in keeping that family unit together."

She noted anyone convicted of an offense the judge thinks would pose harm to a child would not be eligible for the proposed law. The Primary Caretaker Bill will be introduced when the 2022 session opens January 12th.

Levine noted similar legislation was recommended in 2018 but did not get much traction among Maryland lawmakers. She thinks it will have more impact now because it will especially help women and men of color. Over the past few years, studies have shown they are incarcerated at much higher rates in Maryland than white residents.

"Incarceration statistics are quite appalling as to how they affect people of color in the state," Levine asserted. "Maryland's population is only about 30% Black whereas the prison population is about 70% Black. So that is quite shocking the difference in that statistic."

Studies have shown a connection between the incarceration of a parent and the development of children's behavioral issues, according to the Maryland Governor's Office for Children. Data also pointed to poor academic outcomes for kids with incarcerated parents.

Disclosure: Maryland Justice Project contributes to our fund for reporting on Civil Rights, Criminal Justice, Human Rights/Racial Justice, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Protestors at the University of California-Berkeley demonstrate in support of student groups that passed a bylaw pledging not to invite pro-Zionist speakers. (Palestine Legal)

Social Issues

Groups fighting for Palestinian rights are praising a new fact sheet on religious discrimination from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for …

Social Issues

Lawmakers and immigrants-rights activists in the Commonwealth are hoping to pass the Language Access and Inclusion Act, which would dramatically …


New U.S. Department of Agriculture rules will target fraud and increase oversight of the $64 billion-a-year organic food industry. In Iowa, the …

While mortality rates for pregnant women have decreased globally, they continue to rise in the United States, with Black women three times more likely to die during pregnancy than white women. (Inez/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

By Jennifer Weiss-Wolf for Ms. Magazine.Broadcast version by Eric Galatas for Colorado News Connection reporting for the Ms. Magazine-Public News …

Health and Wellness

With Black History Month underway, Wisconsin researchers and support groups are highlighting the disparities in cases of Alzheimer's disease…


Oregon is pursuing an aggressive climate plan to switch to renewable energy sources, but it faces one often overlooked issue: enough high-voltage …

Social Issues

A measure in the Washington State Legislature would provide free school meals to K-12 students, but nutrition service workers are worried they are …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021