Baltimore — In order to fight the problem of mass incarceration you have to hit the pinnate on all sides. Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby has her stick in hand with the launch of her new program “Aim to B’more.” This program gives people convicted of non violent crimes a second chance to positively affect their community.
Aim to B’more’s first class had 30 non violent drug offenders in attendance. A2B program requirements are for its participants to complete three years of probation, community service, a 5 month internship, and search for new employment. Then the icing on the cake is the participants get their record expunged after successfully completing the program. Ex-offenders are constantly reintroduced to society, but without proper training, they may struggle to find a job in an already harsh market. At times once you check that box and your record is exposed most candidates are overlooked for a the ones without a blemish.
When it comes to statistics Baltimore county has the fifth highest arrest rate for marijuana possessions in the USA. Unemployment is 8.4 percent city-wide. The national rate for unemployment for African-Americans in Baltimore is 10.1%. 148,000 people, or 23.8 percent of the people, live below the official poverty level.
In a city with only 622,000, Programs like these are crucial.
“I would prefer to utilize the inundated courts for the worst of the worst and give our young people a second chance at redemption. People talk about Baltimore’s crime problem but was isn’t talked about is the real issue at hand: systematic poverty.” says Mosby who unveiled the program at a press conference at the Center for Urban Families.
There are many reintroduction programs nationwide, but A2B is in the right place at the right time in hopes it will be one program of many to bring change.
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About The Center for Urban Families: Founded in 1999, CFUF has remained at the front-line of addressing some of our city’s most pressing issues, including poverty, unemployment, father-absence and family disintegration. They maintain an unwavering focus on addressing the key challenges of Baltimore’s urban families by working to connect fathers to their children, creating opportunities for economic and financial security through work, and providing access to other key interventions and supportive services.
Their core mission is to strengthen urban communities by helping fathers and families achieve stability and economic success.