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Maryland's Outside Connection

Maryland Restorative Justice Initiative Seminar - Phase II
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Newsletter - September 2008 - #1
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MRJI Seminar -- PHASE II, September 20, 2008 

Project Director

Walter Mandela Lomax

 

Executive Committee

 

Legislative Chair

Connie Smith

 

Executive Chair

Kimberly Haven

 

Judicial Chair

Angie Callahan

 

Secretary

Polly Riddims

 

Technical Advisor

Retired Delegate

Clarence T. Davis.

Tiger Associates LLC

 

At Large Member

Jeannette Kingsbury

 

Sponsors

Morgan State University

 Dept. of Social Work

Justice Policy Institute

Fusion Partnerships Inc.

Families Against Injustice

Justice Maryland

Maryland CURE

Baltimore Chapter NAACP

 

Partners

Families of Prisoners

 Coalition

Families Against

 Mandatory Minimums-

 Baltimore Chapter

Outside Connection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Maryland Registration Justice Initiative concluded Phase II of its four phase initiative September 20, 2008.

     In partnership with Dr. Anna McPhatter, the chair of the Department of Social Work,  generous support from the Justice Policy Institute, and CASE, we were able to provide the participants with a continental breakfast and box lunches. The conference started at 8:30 am with registration. of family members, friends, supporters, and the general public by giving them information on how to establish our data base. Those who were not registered to vote were signed up to do so by Ms. Amelie Hamilton. Ms. Polly Riddims, Fusion Partnerships, Inc. supervised the Youth Ambassadors from Safe and Sound, and the Street Soldiers from Clifton Park Senior high school with registration and, Pastor Willie Mae Hill did the Invocation, next was a song by Sister Bibifatimah. (Rabiah Pahya)  Dr. Anna McPhatter, Chair of the Social Work Dept. at MSU welcomed the guest, Ms. Riddims, the Director of Fusion introduced the guest, Walter Lomax, the Director of the Project, gave opening remarks, followed by Ms. Kimberly Haven, the Executive Chair gave her report, Ms. Connie Smith, the Legislative Chair gave her report, and Ms. Angie Callahan, the Judicial Chair gave her report. The Honorable Chief Judge Bell, Md. Court of Appeals, was unable to attend, but sent a representative, the Honorable Judge Arrie Davis from the Special Court of Appeals, who delivered an excellent speech on the courts position. Ms. Sheila Bedi, Esq, Executive Director of the Justice Policy Institute, who contributed to the conference gave a report on the work her organization is doing toward our initiative. Ms. Jennifer Smith, the Director of Outside Connection, spoke on the work her organization is doing. Ms. Sherrie Booth the Director of Maryland CURE gave us a report on here organization, and Ms. Mary Pat Donelan spoke on I-WISH a lifers group at MCI-W. We were next introduced to our Key Note Speaker, former Delegate Clarence ‘Tiger’ Davis. Del. Davis spoke on the history of this struggle, and gave his commitment to see it through.

     Senator Nathanial McFadden, who has agreed to introduce legislation, arrived late because of previous commitments, visited the workshops offering his support. During the workshops, family members, friends, supporters, and the general public were informed on how to vote for their incarcerated loved ones. They were provided with information on the legislation we are having introduced (a three judge panel-after an individual has served 20 years, received a favorable recommendation from the parole board, and a favorable evaluation from the Patuxent Institute, a three judge panel would review their sentence for release rather then by the governor) and the importance of registering into the data base to form a bloc vote.

Approximately 75-80 people attended the conference throughout the day, not as many family members and friends as we had hope, but we were effective in getting our message out, and from the responses it will be carried long and far. Twelve volunteers signed up to assist us with the data base, filing, and answering letters offering their full and continued support. We concluded the program with a panel discussion, closing remarks, another song by Sister Bibifatimah (Rabiah Pahya), and a closing prayer by Sister Willie Mae Hill.

As we move into Phase III, our legislative initiative, we are confident that if we stay the course the strength of our efforts will determine the measure of our results.

 

Sincerely,

 

Walter Lomax, Director

Maryland Restorative Justice Initiative