The ACLU of Maryland is committed to helping re-envision a legal justice* approach that is fair and free of racism, keeps communities safe, and respects the dignity and rights of all who come into contact with it.
We seek to defend constitutional rights, including the prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures and the right to due process of law, that are fundamental to a free society and that protect every American from abuses of state power.
We seek to confront illegal and discriminatory police practices and seek to ensure that law enforcement agencies are accountable to the people they are supposed to serve.
We work with lawmakers, community organizations, and policy leaders across the state to reform Maryland’s wasteful, ineffective legal justice system, combat mass-incarceration, and over-criminalization, which disproportionately affects communities of color, and to redirect the staggering resources now devoted to incarceration, to improving our communities, in particular communities of color.
*ACLU of Maryland uses the phrase "legal justice" instead of "criminal justice" system.
Side Effects: The Misguided War on Marijuana
Watch the stories of Marylanders caught in the crosshairs of Maryland's War on Marijuana. A film produced by the ACLU of Maryland and New Lens Productions. Support for legislation to tax and regulate marijuana is growing. The ACLU believes the time is now to end the racially disparate approach of stopping, searching, arresting and jailing people for possession of marijuana. It not only wastes limited resources but also hurts communities and erodes trust with law enforcement.
Prosecutors have used their power to pack jails and prisons. And it has taken decades, billions of dollars, and thousands of laws to turn the United States into the largest incarcerator in the world. But did you know that prosecutors also have the power to dismantle this machine — even without changing a single law? Prosecutors have the power to flood jails and prisons, ruin lives, and deepen racial disparities with the stroke of a pen. But they also have the discretion to do the opposite. This video explores the power of prosecutors to continue to drive mass incarceration — or end it.