Welcome Justice Seekers!
The Mayor’s Office on Criminal Justice thanks you for visiting our website. We invite you to explore what we have done, what guide’s our work, and what we plan to do. Your voice is critical to increase safety in the great city of Baltimore. After you review the website, we want to hear from you – your concerns, your ideas, how you plan to be a part of the positive change, etc. Please email us at Criminal. [email protected]
Dear Baltimore City Change Agent,
Thank you for reading our annual report. In this document you will find what the Mayor’s Office on Criminal Justice has done in 2014 to provide residents of Baltimore City a safer, healthier and stronger community. We operate from a belief that reductions in crime and delinquency, eradication of gang involvement, diminishment of the drug and human trafficking trades, and mitigation of the collateral consequences of system involvement for young people and adults will work only if they address the root causes of crime and are coordinated throughout city government and in collaboration with state and federal officials, faith and community-based partners, and impacted persons. We are proud of our successes, but we know that we have so much more to do. And we know that we need your help to make a sustainable difference.
As we look back on the past year, we are grief stricken by the many lives that have been lost to unconscionable acts of violence, we hurt for the families and the communities that will never fully recover from the trauma that has been put upon them. We offer our deepest condolences and feel charged to honor these lives by changing the trajectory of our communities towards reaching our maximum potential. We believe that collectively (that is, with city agencies and community at the table), we are on the right path. We have achieved a drop in crime rates by over 15% in communities with Citiwatch, 6% recidivism rate within 3 months of our Diversion Program, the Public Safety Initiatives have reached 100s of individuals with direct services in 4 communities, juvenile robberies are down 16% with support from our HYPE efforts, over $300,000 has been distributed to community organizations working to reduce crime in McElderry Park, over 15,000 residents have received a confidential number to report crime through Operation CrimeWatch, close to 300 guns have been taken off the streets, more than 26 families received support at the Domestic Violence Visitation Center, the number of unfounded sexual assault cases dropped from 80% to 6% through SART efforts, over 40 of the most violent group members have been offered ‘a way out’ through Operation CeaseFire, and the Grants Unit has been fiscally responsible by accounting for and reporting on $20,000,000 in grant funds. This is a great track record, but we must keep moving.
Director Angela Johnese joined the team in 2013. She reflects on the team’s accomplishments:
If you don’t like the way the world is, you change it. You just do it one step at a time. – Marian Wright Edelman
The staff of the Mayor’s Office on Criminal Justice have all come to this work because we believe we can and are making a difference in the lives of Baltimore City residents and communities. Though there are often times when nothing about the work feels easy, we believe that undertaking criminal justice and public safety efforts to make Baltimore healthier, stronger, and safer are necessary, and must be done in collaboration with impacted persons. We do not focus on one single issue. Instead, we aim to make differences in the arenas of juvenile justice, domestic violence, sexual assault, homicides and violent crime, community-driven responses to crime and public safety, drug use and treatment, and other facets of criminal justice and public safety. From knocking on doors to ensure people know what resources are available to them to sitting with teenagers at 12:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning debating the similarities between Trayvon Martin and Emmitt Till, we are building relationships and taking steps that prevent crime, strengthen families and communities, and improve public safety in Baltimore. We are making a difference!
We believe that we can make differences in the City by making agencies, organizations, systems, and individuals responsive to the people that they are in place to serve. We know that that there are no quick fixes nor easy solutions. We must address crime and criminal justice issues with a holistic approach that looks at housing, education, employment, physical and mental health, access and equity. With our continued focus, drive, and passions, we will continue to make differences – big and small – across the City of Baltimore.
Please join us in our stand for justice for all of Baltimore.
You can also follow the Mayor’s Office and be a part of the conversation on Facebook or Twitter.