Maryland Takes Step Toward More Fair & Effective Justice System


For Immediate Release: February 7, 2017

Contacts: Fiona Druge, | 646.755.6126

Court of Appeals Approves Bail Rule Change

Today, Maryland’s Court of Appeals approved a change to the court rules that govern the state’s money bail system. This reform seeks both to reduce the number of low-risk people who are unfairly and expensively jailed before their trial only because they cannot afford bail and to make it easier for the courts to detain defendants who pose an unmanageable risk to the community.

Cherise Fanno Burdeen, Chief Executive Officer of the Pretrial Justice Institute and a member of the 2014 Governor’s Commission to Reform Maryland’s Pretrial System, issued the following statement in response to the amended Maryland bail rules:

“This rule change takes an important step towards updating  Maryland’s pretrial justice system by tackling  the state’s unconstitutional bail system.  It is currently  detaining legally innocent people simply because they can’t afford to purchase their freedom, while providing a loophole that allows for the release of those few who should not be. It’s also very expensive. It’s now up to the state legislature to pursue comprehensive reforms of the state’s pretrial system and move away from  money bail towards we know works: evidence-backed pretrial risk assessment and supervision.”

Fanno Burdeen is available for interviews upon request.

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The Pretrial Justice Institute is a national organization working to advance safe, fair, and effective pretrial justice that honors and protects all people. To learn more about PJI or their 3DaysCount campaign that aims to support commonsense solutions to longstanding pretrial justice challenges in 20 states, visit

To schedule an interview or learn more about The Pretrial Justice Institute, contact Fiona Druge,, (646) 755-6126.

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