The Criminalization Of Poverty And What To Do About It

In August 2016, the United States Department of Justice issued a report following its investigation into the policies and practices of the Baltimore Police Department. The report was in response to the 2015 police-involved death of Baltimore resident Freddie Gray and the subsequent unrest that gripped the city. During that historic week in
April 2015, the world watched as Baltimore residents took to the streets to call for an end to police brutality and demand reforms in police accountability. In response to the death of Freddie Gray, what surfaced was communal anger and frustration at a dynamic that has plagued Baltimore communities for decades: an overreliance on incarceration and a divestment in economic opportunities.

Given growing national attention and local concern around the impact of incarceration on working families, the Job Opportunities Task Force sought to define and determine the extent to which the criminalization of poverty is occurring in Maryland. Indeed, the August 2016 United States Department of Justice report on the Baltimore Police Department created a greater sense of urgency around issues of poverty, race and criminal records.

Share This