Maryland Parole Partnership

Maryland Parole Partnership logo.

The Maryland Parole Partnership (MPP) is the result of the lifelong work of numerous people serving life sentences who organized behind prison walls, the family members who supported them, and the advocates they recruited to join them. Our goal is to help facilitate meaningful parole consideration for individuals serving parole eligible life and long-term prison sentences that have been incarcerated for at least 25 years, have demonstrated their maturity and rehabilitation, and are ready to contribute to our communities.

MPP builds partnerships with legal professionals (attorneys, law schools, legal clinics, and organizations) that we recruit, train, and assign to represent our clients pro bono during the parole process. MPP’s model recognizes the expertise and wisdom of people serving life sentences and their family members, while incorporating the professional skills, resources and legitimacy that lawyers and law school students can bring to their advocacy efforts. 

We believe in restorative justice.

We believe in the lost sentencing ideal of rehabilitation, which has now been replaced with simply warehousing – costing tax payers millions of dollars unnecessarily to incarcerate people that have been reformed. There are volumes of data, studies, and research that prove people age out of crime. People change. As legendary civil rights attorney, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, and author of the book Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, stated: “Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.”

We believe this is a racial justice issue.

Maryland incarcerates the highest percentage of Black people in the country. Despite only being 32 percent of Maryland’s population, 71 percent of Maryland’s prison population is Black, which is twice the national average. Nearly 80 percent of the people serving life sentences in Maryland are Black, and Maryland leads the nation is sentencing young Black men to life, 25 percent higher than the second leading state of Mississippi. Maryland has the worst race disparities in the country.


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Anthony Muhammad: Community Engagement (Life After A Second Chance Series #2)

In "Anthony Muhammad – Community Engagement” (Episode 2), you'll learn who Anthony is and what he did with his second chance. Anthony was incarcerated as a 15-year-old in Baltimore City. While on the inside he worked tirelessly to rehabilitate himself and exhibited such growth during his sentence that the judge who released said he was the first violent offender she seen with absolutely no reservations about releasing back into the community.

Holding himself accountable, Anthony has dedicated his life to undoing his past wrongs and ensuring other teenagers don’t make the same mistakes he made. As a teenager, Anthony acknowledged his participation in crime in the community, but as a man he and his peers are doing everything they can to be the solution. He serves as a mentor to young men, a community activist, and an inspiration to all who are seeking to make the most out of a second chance.

The Anthony Muhammad video transcript is available here.

More in this series

The Promise of Parole Should be Honored


Kenneth Tucker receives diploma from Essex Community College. He is pictured with family members.

A Mother Has Waited Half a Century to See Her Son Be Paroled

Mrs. Eula Tucker is the mother of Kenneth Tucker. Her son was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole as a child and has been in prison for nearly half a century. While in prison, he has grown, taken classes, earned certificates, and rehabilitated himself. Unfortunately, because of Maryland’s broken parole system, he has not been granted the parole he earned long ago. In fact, he has never even been considered for parole by the only decision-maker in Maryland with the authority to grant someone serving a life sentence parole: the Governor.

Once Part of the Problem, We are Now Part of the Solution


Anthony Muhammad, Yanet Amanuel, and Sonia Kumar stand together in the Maryland chamber houses on the day of a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee for the Maryland Second Look Act.

Thirty-one years ago, on Jan. 26, 1993, at age 15, I was arrested on two homicide charges in Baltimore City. I was ultimately convicted and sentenced to life plus 20 years in prison. The judge who sentenced me mistakenly believed that I was unredeemable, unreformable, and that the actions I committed were unreconcilable. She stated that I had “little prospect of ever being able to come out and function,” and that I showed very “little hope of rehabilitation.” The judge was unconvinced that “job training, education, and such would make [me] a safe citizen.”

Thankfully, my sentencing judge was wrong about me. Today, I am not only redeemed and reformed, but I have also reconciled through victim/offender mediation with the daughter of the victim in my case — who has forgiven me.

Great Day for Fairness as Veto Overridden on Bill to Take Governor Out of Parole After Decade-Long Battle

Press Release

Group of advocates celebrate the veto override of parole reform in Annapolis, Maryland. They stand in front of the Thurgood Marshall statue. Some hold signs about getting politics out of parole and one person holds a sign with the ACLU-MD logo.

December 8, 2021, was a great, long-awaited day for fairness and racial justice, as the Maryland General Assembly voted to override a veto of SB 202, a bill to fix the state’s broken parole system so that Marylanders serving life sentences finally have a chance to earn release. After a difficult, decade-long effort, this new law will correct an injustice that has caused Marylanders who have been repeatedly, wrongfully denied parole by Governors, even though they have the right to earn release. They, their families and their communities deserve this important reform.

Settlement Reached in Lawsuit Defending Constitutional Rights of Marylanders Sentenced to Life with Parole as Children

Press Release

Image from the cover of the Still Blocking the Exit report by ACLU of Maryland. There are square images of Black people's faces with color overlays of blue, orange, green, and purple.

In an important victory on the road to fixing the state’s broken parole process for Marylanders given life sentences, today the Maryland Board of Public Works (BPW) approved a legal settlement that requires the Maryland Parole Commission (MPC), Division of Correction (DOC), and Governor to adopt new regulations and policies to help rebuild Maryland’s parole process for those sentenced as children to life imprisonment.

Since 1995, when Maryland adopted its “life means life” policy, parole in Maryland has operated as a system of clemency that denied Marylanders sentenced to life with parole as children any meaningful or realistic hope of release. The settlement requires all the decision-makers to give mitigating weight to the age of children who are sentenced, provide much greater transparency about their decisions and their reasoning, and work more closely together to identify and advance those sentenced to life as children toward release. By doing so, the settlement seeks to eliminate the arbitrary barriers that have prevented Marylanders given life sentences as children from being paroled, notwithstanding their demonstrated maturity and rehabilitation.

The lawsuit was brought by three Marylanders sentenced while children to life with parole – Nathaniel Foster, Calvin McNeill, and Kenneth Tucker – and the Maryland Restorative Justice Initiative, an organization that works for the rights of people who are incarcerated. When the case was filed in 2016, Maryland had functionally abolished parole for lifers in violation of the constitutional rights of those sentenced as children. No Marylander serving a life with parole sentence had been granted parole in more than two decades, including Marylanders sentenced when they were children. Everything about the parole process had adapted to the reality that parole was essentially unattainable for anyone sentenced to life. In 2020, both Mr. Foster and Mr. McNeill were released – Mr. Foster because his sentence was commuted and Mr. McNeill through a judge’s resentencing order. Mr. Tucker hopes to achieve release soon.

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